AMC will split the seventh and final season of Mad Men into two parts to air in 2014 and 2015, in the same way it did for Breaking Bad.
The network has ordered an extra episode of Lionsgate's and Matt Weiner's retro advertising drama, bringing the order to 14 episodes, to air in batches of seven episodes in the spring of each year.
AMC can only hope the Mad Men scheduling gambit plays as well as it has for Breaking Bad. The Sept. 17 premiere of the "Ozymandias" installment averaged a series' best 4.2 rating and 6.4 million watchers. Throught the first six episodes of its final season 5B run -- two remain in the Walter White saga -- Breaking Bad has averaged 5.2 milion viewers, 102% above season 5A.
“This approach has worked well for many programs across multiple networks, and, most recently for us with Breaking Bad whichattracted 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 todrive back to live events, we believe this is the best way to release the now 14 episodes than remain of this iconic series.”
The move will keep the accolade show on the air for another year as AMC is restocking its drama bench. With Breaking Bad ending and The Killing recently re-cancelled, the network has ordered two new dramas – Turn and Halt & Catch Fire – and a Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. AMC also announced on Monday it is developing a companion series to its monster hit The Walking Dead.