Good news and bad news. Firstly, the good news: Next season of Mad Men has been granted a whole extra episode, bringing the total episode count to 14 instead of the normal 13 episodes. Since next season is the last, this is great! One more episode to wrap up all loose ends and drown our sorrows in the fact that the show is ending.
Before you get too excited, though, take a look at the bad news: Like AMC did with Breaking Bad, those last 14 episodes will be split into two halves, meaning the first seven episodes will air in 2014, and the last seven episodes will air in 2015. AKA, we're gonna have to wait a whole year mid-season just to find out how this whole thing is gonna end.
According to Vulture, AMC is dubbing the first part of the season "The Beginning," and the last part of the season "The End of an Era," which is fitting.
As annoying as this is, it's pretty easy to see why AMC did this: Breaking Bad's ratings have climbed by over three million viewers since the second half of this season premiered, likely due to all of the hype surrounding the fact that it's the "final eight episodes"â€”and its previoius episode, "Ozymandias," earned the series' highest ratings ever. As Mad Men earns just about as much critical acclaim as Breaking Bad does, AMC is likely tempted to recreate the same situation here.
The first half of season seven of Mad Men will premiere some time in early 2014.