The move allows AMC to extend its hold on its most signature original drama series. The split final season model has worked well for “Breaking Bad,” which was able to drum up anticipation for the final seven segs for a year, boosting viewership considerably. AMC ordered an additional episode for season seven from producer Lionsgate TV to allow the cabler to serve up what it cheekily dubbed “a Seven and Seven.”
“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 AMC prexy Charlie Collier. “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.”
“Mad Men” creator/exec producer Matthew Weiner said he supported the move for the seventh and final season, noting that the longer time frame will allow the episodes to “resonate a little bit longer in the minds of our audience. The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience.”
According to AMC, the first half of season seven will be dubbed “The Beginning” while the 2015 batch will be aptly branded “The End of an Era.”
Industry observers were quick to note that the split of “Mad Men’s” final season would also allow that show and “Breaking Bad” more breathing room at the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. “Breaking Bad’s” final seven segs will be contenders next year, as the August premiere date took them out of contention for this year’s ceremony, while “Mad Men’s” last lap will be in the 2015 race.