Posted by on September 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm  Scoops & Exclusives, Season 7
Sep 172013

Mad Men logo I’m just going to let the press release speak for itself:


AMC Orders Extra Episode, 14 Episodes To Be Equally Portioned Between Spring 2014 And 2015

NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 17, 2013 – AMC announced today that the final season of the Lionsgate series Mad Men will be expanded to 14 episodes and equally portioned with seven episodes airing in spring of 2014 (“The Beginning”) and the final seven episodes of this iconic series (“The End of an Era”) airing in the spring of 2015.

“This approach has worked well for many programs across multiple networks, and, most recently for us with Breaking Bad which attracted nearly double the number of viewers to its second half premiere than had watched any previous episode,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “We are determined to bring Mad Men a similar showcase. In an era where high-end content is savored and analyzed, and catch-up time is used well to drive back to live events, we believe this is the best way to release the now 14 episodes than remain of this iconic series.”

“We plan to take advantage of this chance to have a more elaborate story told in two parts, which can resonate a little bit longer in the minds of our audience,” said Matthew Weiner, creator and executive producer, Mad Men. “The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience.”

“Mad Men has had a transcendent impact on our popular culture, and it has played a prominent role in building our Lionsgate brand,” said Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group. “We anticipate a remarkable seventh season thanks to the brilliance of Matthew Weiner, the entire creative and production team, and our tremendous partnership with AMC. We’re all working to ensure that the series will have the kind of powerful send-off it so richly deserves.”

The first half of the final season of Mad Men will premiere on AMC this spring.

I’m assuming that “spring” means March or early April, as that has been the pattern the last two years. This is an extra hour we never expected, and an extra year, but seven-episode half-seasons are a kind of torture. More as we hear it.


  76 Responses to “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT from AMC”

  1. Part II of the last season of the Sopranos still ranks as the best last half of a last season in history.

    The smaller scale season lent greater urgency to the finale.

  2. I’m enjoying the 2-part Breaking Bad final season, and I expect to enjoy Mad Men’s just as much. I’m glad I get an extra year to say goodbye. And this is one more chance for Jon Hamm to get his much-deserved Emmy. Am I wrong to be positive about this? The Twitterverse seems annoyed more than anything.

    • I have not been on Twitter in weeks and weeks. Feel free to share anything particularly pithy.

    • Twitter will find a problem with extra sprinkles.

      I’m willing to see how it goes … will feel weird for sure, but I trust Papa Weiner.

      • I trust his ability to craft two excellent short seasons, but this is not his decision, I’m sure.

        • You’re probably right, Deborah. Here’s what a friend of mine had to say when I posted about the split season on Facebook (my friend below is not a MM fan but she watches Breaking Bad–I wrote something about how I gather that BB fans were not happy when they had the season split):

          “No, I was not happy when they did this to BB. It’s milking it and it’s all for money. Shame on AMC.”

  3. I really, really hate it when shows do this.

  4. Unclear whether the series will have all 14 episodes shot during the first season or split the shooting. Potential problems either way.

    Two season shooting- problem with continuity availability of cast members, negotiating leverage; death; disability; rehab treatment, etc.
    One season shooting- big problem with secrecy obsessed MW. How to keep plot leaks from occurring over such an extended period after episode already in the can?

    • According to Kate Aurthur from Buzzfeed, they will shoot all at once.

      • Please remember that Matt Weiner admitted Principal Photography for Season 7 will not start until the first week of November 2013. As a consequence it is unlikely plans have been made as to the schedule of filming.

        It also would seem, based on MW’s track-record, that blogs and news media are not privy to plans. With other series there was a hiatus between production of the final season part 1 and part 2, but not always.

        We will just need to wait and see if any bloggers guessed correctly.

        • I have a hard time believing that they don’t have the majority of their filming schedule worked out 7 weeks from production.

          • Each studio, production company and series is different. Even separate seasons of the same series can be scheduled differently. Over my career I have worked on series where the start date for every episode was set long in advance, and then needed to be adjusted as production fell behind schedule. Others only set the start date for the first episode to be produced.

            Given that such a large portion of AMC competitors expected Mad Men Season 7 to be split, considering that Matt Weiner was a producer on The Sopranos when that happened, the assumption is that necessary negotiations had concluded with the cast and crew prior to AMC making the announcement. LionsGate would have needed approval from all the other foreign networks buying Mad Men.

            Except for cast fees, there would be savings producing all 14 episodes in one block. However, if it was written that a new major standing set was needed perhaps it would be necessary to shut down long enough to remove one existing set to load-in the replacement. Of course that sort of thing happens routinely in a day or so without disrupting production on adjacent sound stages.

            Another consideration could be taking a hiatus so that cast members could age naturally. Chances are this would apply mostly to Kiernan Shipka, and we have seen she can play older and younger effectively.

            We will just need to wait and see.

  5. An extra hour!!!! And a split season! EeeeeeeYEEESSSSSS! I just wish we could have a full 100 episodes of Mad Men instead of the 92 we’ll have when it’s done. I’m happy we’re getting an extra hour. And maybe, just maybe, the hype around the split season will finally get MM the acting Emmys it deserves.

  6. I love the idea personally. Agonizing, but another hour of Jon Hamm is delicious!

  7. The first half of Sopranos season 6 was a letdown, and certainly Breaking Bad would have benefitted from being a 13-episode season. This is a terrible disappointment

  8. I guess I’m a wet blanket…but this is very disapointing to me. Though I do not relish the thought of the end of original Mad Men episodes; this is like pulling a band-aid off slowly.

    If all fourteen episodes are shot this fall and winter; what are the odds that plot points will not leak out before Spring 2015? What leverage does MW have, particularly over “bit” players?

    Think I’ll threaten MW with a major protest……unless he agrees to at least a cameo from Salvatore!

    • I like this plan. Fans need to know what happened to Sal, even if it’s just a mention of what happened to him.

  9. I just can’t believe we don’t find out how it all ends…for TWO YEARS? But not just two years, 7 measly episodes per year. That means we get a month and a half of Mad Men, then have to wait a year to get…………….. a month and a half of Mad Men.

    • I’m not concerned with how it all ends. I mean, I am, but Mad Men is not cliffhanger-oriented. It’s the process not the outcome.

  10. I didn’t like this split season scheme when Breaking Bad did it and I don’t like that Mad Men now plans to do it.

    • AND – if they handle the home video releases as Breaking Bad did, we get the privilege of separately purchasing S-7a and S-7b on DVD or Blu-Ray. That’s TWO for the price of, well – TWO!

      Color me: “Not Impressed!”

  11. I’m feeling split myself over this. Only seven episodes at a time doesn’t feel like nearly enough to tide us over for a full year. And with the way the show tells its story, the accustomed Episode 7 midpoint is usually just when we’re beginning to see the themes. A year-long interruption at that point feels all wrong.

    On the other hand, this gives me an excuse to keep coming back here and talk to all of you charming people for an extra year. 🙂

  12. Nope, don’t like it at all. BB is different because they have no time jumps between seasons at all, the next year picks up the minute after the last one. So they have to shoot 14 episodes now, obviously, because otherwise they have to time jump again after 7 episodes, because the kids will suddenly look and sound a year older otherwise. And that means episode 7 has to be a cliffhanger, and then we resume again in 1969 or whatever year it is. What are they going to cliffhang, whether Megan gets a daytime Emmy or not?

  13. Not happy at all. But nothing we can do. This decision was made at the corporate level and I suspect that MW was “informed” and then given a 14th episode as a consolation.

    • Yes. I’m sure that not only do AMC want to milk the series for more viewers as happened with Breaking Bad (I don’t suppose Lionsgate cares one way or the other), but they probably don’t want to lose both their prestige series within the same season. This way they’re still hanging on to Mad Men and their known identity for another year as they attempt to bring in new series.

  14. I think it’s a horrible development. Exploitative, desperate, and just generally horrible. I feel cheated, even with the extra episode. I can see numerous reasons why they’d do two mini-seasons. None of them is about the audience. Shame on whoever came up with this.

    • Exactly. Money. AMC gets two long birds for this nonsense. Keep your extra episode and closet the manipulation along with it.

  15. 2015. Blecccch

  16. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  17. Hahaha. AMC trying to stem the bleeding now that two of there three cash cows are out to pasture. Can’t say I blame them. But it will fuck up the creative rep of the network even more for sure.

    • Greed. AMC is so greedy they would air only 1 episode a year for 14 years if they could … 2028 would air the final episode.

      Something was lost when the writers went on strike. 17 months of no show cost the momentum of the story. They Emmys didn’t come because of that. Greed.

  18. I see it as one season of television, two seasons of Emmy award possibilities.

    • That’s an interesting thought. I don’t know the rules for the Emmys. Would each 7 episode season be treated as a seperate season?

      • Under Emmy rules it comes down to details when each part of Season 7 is shown.

        Generally under Emmy rules episodes for consideration must have run during June to June. For example, if Season 7.1 runs from April to May 2014 those episodes would be considered for the 2014 Prime Time Emmy.

        Then if Season 7.2 runs from April to May 2015 it would be eligible for the 2015 Emmy.

        However, even if Season 7.2 runs from June 2014 to May 2015 it still would be eligible for the 2015 Emmy.

        • So if I understand it, then each 7 episode season would count as 1 season. 7.1 could be up for awards in 2014, and 7.2 would be up for awards in 2015, correct? Thanks for trying to explain it.

          • Yes, so long as Season 7.2 did not start until after 1 June 2014 and concluded by 31 May 2015 it would be eligible for the 2015 Emmy.

  19. Okay, let me just weigh in with my opinions:

    1. I am very happy that we get an extra hour.

    2. I have no idea how the split will affect writing or pacing. I didn’t follow The Sopranos and I don’t follow Breaking Bad, so I’ve never seen this in action.

    3. It’s obviously a money decision. Duh. It’s a television station, not an art museum, and frankly, even art museums have to make money decisions to keep their doors open. AMC is losing a cash cow with Breaking Bad and reviews of Low Winter Sun have been decidedly mixed. They need to keep Mad Men going while they work on filling out their roster.

    4. I am happy about the increased Emmy possibilities, but I’m not hopeful about them.

    5. I have mixed feelings about what it means for the blog, but I will love having you all around for another year. I suspect that the writing will be difficult for a seven-episode season, but it will allow us to catch up, backtrack, etc.

    • I admit, despite my happy exclamation above, I also have mixed feelings about the split. I wish the second half of the last season could shown be only 6 months past the 1st half not 12. I’m thinking the 1st 1/2 of the season is going to need a hell of a cliffhanger to keep fans interested for a whole year. Then again, the last time MM had a split was because of the writers strike and the wait was what, 17 months?

      I’m wondering if MW will wrap up the 13 episodes with the end of Mad Men, then make the 14th set in the future to see what happened with all the characters (which he’s often mentioned doing).

      I also hope that this will really increase the acting chances for Emmy, but I won’t hold my breath — The Emmy’s have screwed the cast for so long they’re not going to give pity ones for the end of the series. (is that good?)

      Well, I hope for the best. I know it’s AMC’s idea for more ad revenue, but I trust Matt won’t let us down.

      • Pity awards are standard fare, see Henry Fonda, on down to Kyle Chandler.
        2015 Emmy board——-“Wait, we’ve NEVER given Hamm an Emmy? Shame on us. Let’s wash this error clean”. Ta-da! JH goes home with the gold.
        These people make me retch.

        • Indeed. Yeah, the Emmys have sucked for years. (to think that back in the 60’s, Leonard Nimoy never got a supporting actor for Spock is shameful, but I digress)

      • Therese-You may have just given me an idea for a blog post. It may take some time to get the wording right, but there’s something in there. As for a flash-forward finale, I’m thinking Don’s funeral would be a good setting. It would bring all of the characters together.

  20. You know, I think this gives them more incentive to do spinoffs. I certainly would follow Joan, Peggy and Betty! What a great show that would be.

    Even a series titled Sally would be fab.
    I’m 57 and I think Sally would be about my age. I would love to see the decades through Sally’s eyes. They would have to get an unknown for the present day Sally. However, this would be Kernin’s big independent break!

    How about a Stan show?

    Breaking up is hard to dooooo So true, Burt Bachrach

  21. Early in Mad Men Season 1 Sally Draper had her sixth birthday on Kentucky Derby Day of 1960, meaning she was born during the first week of May 1954.

    Before the Split Season Announcement, recently several TV critics have discussed possible spin-offs, of such characters as Sally, Ken, Paul, Sal and Ginsberg.

    If I were representing Kiernan Shipka, I would suggest that as soon as possible she play a wide variety of roles in features as well as TV, to avoid being type-cast. Kiernan was only 5 when she started playing Sally Beth Draper and she will not turn 14 until 10 November 2013, so for most viewers she is only known as Sally. Then late in 2017, when Kiernan is actually 18, probably she could successfully play “Sally” as a university student. Having proven her versatility, she could avoid being type-cast.

    Matt Weiner has created such rich characters for Ken, Paul, Sal, Stan, Ginsberg and many others such spin-offs could be entertaining us for years.

    • Could you explain who owns the characters as intellectual property? AMC or Matt? If AMC wanted to do a spinoff could they do it without Matt or is he in control of those characters? Thanks.

      • AMC does not own Mad Men. Matt Weiner signed a deal with LionsGate, which is the studio and which sells the rights to Mad Men outside the USA.

        Details of the contracts are confidential.

        Chances are very slim that AMC owns any “remake” rights to Mad Men. Certainly LionsGate does own remake rights. When the deal was set for Seasons 5, 6 and 7 chances are good that any remake would require approval of Matt Weiner, but not necessarily his direct participation.

        From a practical standpoint it is unlikely LionsGate would finance spin-offs without the participation of Matt Weiner.

  22. In the words of a great poet; this really sucks.
    A whole year to wait for 7 episodes………TWICE@/#&##&&
    What VP douche at AMC thinks that this is a great idea?
    Hey, it worked on BB, why not here. Jesus.
    Why not 16 eps that BB got?
    Will first 7, set up Don’s exposure to the military, and the other half for his flight?
    Dear, God, please NO.

    • Concur

      Key words here: ‘attracted nearly double our audience’

      In the words of Gordon Gekko:

      “Its all about bucks kid, the rest is just conversation”

  23. Nope, not happy.

  24. Maybe AMC should stop sinking money into garbage like Freakshow, Owner’s Manual, The Pitch (my goodness is that show gross), etc. Comic Book Men was moderately interesting until someone thought it was a necessity to have little (stupid) stories every episode. There’s obviously a lot of money in reality TV, but do they really need to become another TLC? Or a half-assed PBS with pilfered series from Europe? They strike me as lazy, if not entirely lost. It’s unfortunate that their ineptness drops on the shoulders of their only great achievements. This is why so many people have no problems stealing from the entertainment sectors. I realize it is business, but it is also adversarial.

    • Whoops, forgot a sentence in there.

      *It’s unfortunate that their ineptness drops on the shoulders of their only great achievements. Half-season DVD sets and other opportunist manipulations. This is why so many people have no problems stealing from the entertainment sectors. I realize it is business, but it is also adversarial. We’re all wiling to be screwed with up to a point, but then it crosses a line into insult.

  25. No sir. I don’t like it. I mean, I’m not quitting. Or anything. I’m just pissed.

    • Katey!
      How about a painting of Don and Betts pillow talk at Bobby’s camp?
      That was such a good scene, dontchathink?

      • Suziq! That was quite a scene. Never before had there been such a lack of bullshit between those two. And that dynamic! Betty regaining her power and losing her venom, and Don allowing himself to be seduced ( nice to see him vulnerable without being so friggin tragic) by somebody who actually KNOWS him. That would veeeery challenging to paint.

        • I second a campground painting kturk — and I’d post it here for Fan Art Thursday asap! 🙂

          • Two of ya! Ok, then. I will research!

            • You know, I’ve the got the beautiful painting Katey did of Don by his window writing in his journal in his bachelor pad. (How’s that for a string of prepositional phrases?)
              Everyone who steps into my living room sees it over the fireplace and recognizes it. Funny, that scene stays with people.
              So, now I gotta find wall space for Pillow Talk with Betts&Don!!
              Can’t wait…This is gonna be spectacular!
              Katey Turk

  26. Two split, 7-episode seasons of Mad Men is better than no Mad Men, so as Darwin would say, “Adapt, or die.”

    The last two episodes of Breaking Bad will be 75 minutes each, and the past two that have aired were a little bit longer than what has been typical. Soooooooooooooo, maybe we’ll get some 47+ minute episodes of Mad Men during the split last season.

  27. Yay!

  28. Hmmm…unexpected!

    Still, the telescoped denouement gives me the *illusion* that my show will be around just a bit longer…

    And, though I still treat Mad Men like other shows, in that it will have this big, showy thingamabob ending or whatever…(out of habit)…and it doesn’t, still, I’m never disappointed. I agree with Deb, it’s a process, not a destination. Kinda like life. How Weinerian ;O)

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