AMC Is Splitting Mad Men's Final Season Into Two Seven-episode Halves for 2014 and 2015

By Tim Surette

Sep 17, 2013

While binge-watching has become the hot topic of when it comes to television-watching habits, AMC has other ideas. The cable network has become a bit of an experiment as it approaches a new phase in its lifetime, and its latest practice would make fans of Netflix's all-you-can-watch model starve to death.

AMC has decided to split the final season of Mad Men into two halves airing over two years. The upcoming seventh season, the show's final, will consist of 14 episodes, with the first seven airing in spring 2014 and the final seven airing a year later, in spring 2015. It's similar to what AMC has done with Breaking Bad, whose final 16-episode season was split into two batches of eight episodes each. But this time, AMC has named the two half-seasons ("The Beginning" and "The End of an Era," respectively), so it's totally different, right?

Mad Men fans should at least be kinda happy, because the decision means that Season 7 will get an extra hour; the original season order was only for 13 episodes. But other than that... yeeesh, I don't know. I wasn't a huge fan of splitting up Breaking Bad, which created a disjointed feel between Seasons 5A and 5B (although the condensed 5B has paid off, with one of the series' best seasons yet). Mad Men will be dealing with even shorter halves, which will make it feel like things are ending almost right after they begin. And Mad Men's style serves the slow build, which will be lost when it's chopped off right in the middle. The flip side to this is that the writers will have a lot more time to focus on fewer episodes, and can condense things, which should improve each episode's individual quality. Silver lining, maybe? [UPDATE] According to multiple reports, all of Season 7 will be shot in one production cycle, meaning that the entire season will be shot and completed well before the second half of Season 7 airs. That means everything will be written at the same time instead of two chunks (like Breaking Bad was) and everyone involved will be holding major spoilers for a loooong time. It also means the burden of a 14th episode falls on the writers to complete in the same time it took them to write 13 previously. So bunk to that silver linings, I guess. [/UPDATE]

However, other than prolonging a critically acclaimed show's demise, I can't really fathom a practical reason for what really is two seven-episode seasons. But at least one person has an idea:

What do you think? Can anyone out there defend splitting a season in two? 

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  • AriSky Jan 20, 2014

    This whole trend of splitting seasons is ridiculous and a complete waste of viewer involvement. Yes, they'll jump through the stupid viewing hoop, but they shouldn't have to. And the networks are going to suffer from it, because inevitably more corners will be cut and the show itself will crumble from the practice.

  • macaron Sep 18, 2013

    AMC just doesn't give a s*** about us, making money rather than producing entertainment...

    well, why not doing 13 seasons of 1 episode then ?

  • TaskOner1 Sep 18, 2013

    I don't understand it.. It just seams like 2 shorter seasons to me. Maybe a way for AMC to get more bang for their buck? Only having to pay actors and staff for 14 episodes over 2 years... instead of 24. Seems like the audience, fans, actors and show makers all lose out with these split seasons.

  • Gilda Sep 18, 2013

    I kind of figured this would happen (though as I wish each half could be 13 episodes long :P ) . but hopefully they will make each half really interesting. Idk last season was ok but it felt like nothing really happened

  • Tjsmooth0 Sep 18, 2013

    They're doing this solely because other than The Walking Dead, AMC has yet to be able to find another hit show since Mad Men and Breaking Bad. I like Hell on Wheels just fine, but it's not exactly in the same tier. And anything else has been pretty much garbage. I was so excited about Low Winter Sun, too. How can something with Mark Strong, Lennie James, David Constibile, and Ziggy Sabotka possibly be this bad? But I digress...

    They're just milking the last bit of exceptional television it has until The Walking Dead is the only show on the network. I guess that's what happens when you go to war with show runners on a regular basis?

  • Bottron Sep 18, 2013

    I'm sorry to say but if you have a year long break inbetween episodes, just call it TWO seasons. Just admit that you're too lazy and the shows are too flaccid to have enough material for two full seasons.

  • andreweather Sep 18, 2013


    Of course they are...

  • Neksmater Sep 18, 2013

    They just can't have their last flagship awards darling die off in one 13 episode cycle. At least BB had 16 episodes, but 14? Doesn't even sound worth tuning in until 2015 to see it all in one.

  • emmiegirl Sep 18, 2013

    This is totally because their pipeline is garbage, right? Sad to see, but it looks like AMC couldn't live up to its own hype.

  • anthonyclay37 Sep 17, 2013

    AMC is such a garbage channel. Now they are forcing split seasons because the rest of their new shows are garbage. Once Breaking Bad is over I wont be tuning into AMC again.

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