There are many good reasons to split the last season of “Mad Men” in half, and many of them are businessy. Let’s not pretend that creative issues are the prime movers behind such TV decisions, even on cable, even with a prestige series such as “Mad Men,” even with a forceful, quality-controlling creator such as Matthew Weiner.
When AMC recently announced that “Mad Men” would follow the “Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” and “Breaking Bad” split-season model, with seven episodes in the spring of 2014 and seven the next year, a lot of fans were, yes, mad. On the AMC site, one commenter summed it up: “For it to be strung out over two years is a mistake and not respectful to Maddicts.” They know that, more than many series on TV, “Mad Men” operates on a theme-per-season basis, as each season is set during a different year in the 1960s; the split seems to contradict that tradition. Plus, fans know that they’ll have to wait longer for story closure, and, yeah, the waiting is the hardest part.