AMC has been re-running episodes of its bellwether series "Mad Men" on Sunday mornings since the summer, starting with the pilot and reaching the seventh episode of season three on Oct. 9.
The cabler then paused the reruns to make room for its AMC Fearfest event, linked in part to Sunday's season premiere of "The Walking Dead." Fair enough.
But when AMC resumes the "Mad Men" reruns on Nov. 6, the network confirmed this morning that it is going to pick up sometime in season four, leaving out at least the final six episodes of season three, every single one of them pivotal to the show's overall story development.
To reiterate, this is as minor an issue as they come — the episodes have already aired on the network in the past and, when the cycle resumes from the start at the end of November, will eventually do so again, truly from start to finish, the network promises, in order to time out perfectly with the premiere of season five in March.
But when the presumed goal of re-airing the episodes, above being baseline scheduling filler, is to ingratiate and grow the "Mad Men" fan base, it's hard to understand why AMC wouldn't just pick up where it left off, rather than force viewers to scramble to see the ones they're missing. Then, in order to time out with the season-five premiere, AMC could leave off the episodes it has already shown this summer.
As the "Mad Men" network, AMC should always want to be treating the show like a jewel, in every incarnation.