Using "Breaking Bad" formula, "Mad Men" will also split its final season into two parts. The seventh and last installment of the period drama series has been expanded from its initial 13-episode order to 14 episodes, with the first half ("The Beginning") set to air in spring 2014 and the second half ("The End of an Era") airing a year later 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," says 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."
Series creator Matthew Weiner explains their decision to split the last season into two parts, "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. The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience."
Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group which produces the show, adds, "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."
Some speculate that this is a strategy to avoid "Mad Men" from dueling with "Breaking Bad" at the Emmy Awards. "Lost" co-creator and screenwriter Damon Lindelof tweeted, "This a brilliant way for final seasons of BREAKING BAD and MAD MEN to not compete against each other for the Emmys."
The last installment of "Breaking Bad", which will air its last episode Sunday, September 29, will qualify for 2014 Emmys. AMC recently released an ad to thank the cast, crew and fans of the crime drama series. "It's all in the chemistry. Thanks to everyone who made bad so good," a tagline on the ad reads.
"Breaking Bad" ad: