Don Draper is going to take his time saying goodbye: “Mad Men” is splitting its final season into two seven-episode installments airing in 2014 and 2015.
The AMC show is going out the same way as “Breaking Bad,” which split its final season between last year and this one, the network said on Tuesday.
Also read: ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff in the Works at AMC
The move means AMC will get to keep its first big show on the air a little longer as it looks for replacements for “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.” On Monday it announced it was creating a spinoff of “The Walking Dead,” to go with a previously announced “Breaking Bad” spinoff.
The split may also increase AMC’s long-term Emmy haul. If “Mad Men” had ended its run next year, it’s final season would have had to go up against the final episodes of “Breaking Bad.” This change means Emmy voters won’t have to choose between the final episodes of two of television’s most-praised shows, since “Mad Men” will be eligible again in 2015.
The first seven episodes will air in spring 2014 under the banner “The Beginning.” The final seven — “The End of an Era” — will air in spring 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 “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner. “The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience.”