mad men don draperHUGE, exciting announcement for Mad Men fans! Just when we thought we were going to have to kiss the show goodbye forever after season 7 wraps in early summer 2014, AMC has announced that the final, seventh season will consist of 14 episodes -- as opposed to the usual 13 -- and will be split up into two "mini-seasons" consisting of seven episodes each. One will air this coming spring 2014, and the other ... spring 2015! Eeee!!!

SO awesome! That means we'll basically be getting the benefit of a season 8 ... without an actual season 8. All right, sure, I guess not the FULL benefit, because that would mean 26 more episodes total as opposed to 14, but still, being a beggar at creator Matthew Weiner's mercy, we'll take what we can get, right?!

Here's what else we know (so far) ...

  • The first half of season 7 is being referred to as "The Beginning." And the second half is called "The End of an Era." Sigh, yes, yes, it will be!
  • The network decided to do it this way mostly because it has "worked well" with Breaking Bad, which attracted nearly double the number of viewers to its second half premiere than had watched any previous episode. Whoa! Well, not surprising, I guess. Splitting ANY final installment this way definitely amps up the anticipation quotient. (See: Harry PotterTwilight, etc.)
  • Weiner, the writers, and the cast/crew are cool with it. In AMC's statement, he notes, "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.”
  • We can look forward to a "powerful sendoff," according to Kevin Beggs, Chairman of Lionsgate TV Group.

Now the big questions this news obviously brings to mind! Does this mean season 7 will cover 1969 and 1970, or just the first half of the year and the second? And if it's the latter, my guess is that Weiner may end the "mid-season" finale somewhere around July 20, 1969 -- when we first landed on the moon, cuz that could stand for all sorts of dramatic, metaphoric meaning ... Will they film it all at once or split up the production, too? Will everyone want to participate in both mini-seasons or will someone drop out at the last moment? Eek! Hope not!

Either way, knowing we've got two more years of Mad Men to look forward to is a real treat. Can't wait!

What do you think about this new plan to split season 7?

 

Image via AMC