"Mad Men" actor Jon Hamm hosts at the 2013 ESPY Awards show at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles on July 17, 2013. The 20th annual ESPY's honor the best in sports in the past year. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo
NEW YORK, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- AMC says the final season of its New York-set drama series "Mad Men" will be expanded to 14 episodes, and then broken up into two halves.
The first seven episodes are to air next spring, while the last seven will premiere in the spring of 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," Charlie Collier, AMC's president, said in a statement Tuesday. "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 that 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 Matthew Weiner, the creator and executive producer of "Mad Men." "The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience."
"'Mad Men' has had a transcendent impact on our popular culture, and it has played a prominent role in building our Lionsgate brand," said Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, which produces the show.
The Emmy Award-winning show stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, Vincent Karthheiser, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, Robert Morse, Kiernan Shipka, Jessica Pare and Kevin Rahm.