Mad Men Season 7: Mad Men’s seventh and final season will be split into two parts, with the first of seven episodes premiering on AMC Sunday, April 13, at 10pm ET and the last seven episodes premiering in spring 2015. Executive producer Scott Hornbacher talked about how the cast and crew are coming to grips with the show ending, as well as what he hopes the show’s legacy will be.
Longtime fans of AMC’s Mad Men have waited out lengthy hiatuses before. With the show entering its final season, they’ll have to do it again, though with the knowledge that all things involving Don Draper (Jon Hamm) are worth the wait.
The final season will be 14 episodes split into two story arcs, with Episodes 1-7, dubbed “The Beginning,” premiering this month. Episodes 8-14, called “The End of an Era,” will premiere in spring 2015. AMC used the same strategy to great effect with Breaking Bad last year.
In the midst of shooting the last seven episodes, the cast and crew are coming to grips with the finality. “There’s some wistfulness, a little bit of anticipation of what it’s going to be like for everybody when the show’s gone,” says executive producer Scott Hornbacher, who has collaborated with creator Matt Weiner on Mad Men since the pilot and directed the Season 7 premiere episode. “You see the same people, joke with the same people, argue with the same people for seven years. You get very used to that. I think people are on a personal level bracing themselves a little bit for that coming to an end.”
Weiner has been adamant that there will be no Mad Men spinoff or companion series. “There’s always the possibility that there’s an idea that’s the kernel for an amazing spinoff or derivative show that is born from these stories and these characters, but if it’s not going to be at the same level and if it’s not going to be relevant, I don’t think [Matt] or anybody involved with the show would want to expend their efforts that way. I think he’s very mindful of that.”
As with Breaking Bad, expect hordes of bandwagon fans binge-viewing previous seasons to catch up. Hornbacher says they should go for it, and get started now. “Mad Men is especially good to watch that way,” he says. “I do believe that each season of Mad Men is one continuous story — the sum of the whole is greater than its parts — so it’s a really fun way to watch.”
And it’s a way for the show’s legacy to live on long after 2015. “One of the best things in life is to be told a good story,” Hornbacher says. “And I hope the show will live on, especially since we live in a world now where things like TV series can be watched over and over again and can exist for a very long time. It will continue to find a new audience ongoing, because the stories are ones that people are going to want to watch.”
Season 6 concluded with Don forced to take an extended vacation after his meltdown at the Hershey’s pitch meeting, and his marriage to Megan (Jessica Paré) may be on the rocks. Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) is keeping Don’s office chair warm in New York, while Ted (Kevin Rahm) planned to take his wife and kids to start over in Los Angeles.
Season 7 will reportedly be focused on consequences, and the things that are done that cannot be undone. The season premiere, “Time Zones,” begins with things still up in the air for Don, who’s frequently flying to visit Megan in L.A. Detached from his wife and his work, Don wonders, “Have I broken the vessel?”
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