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October 26, 2014

'Mad Men' May End in 2012

by Gary Susman, posted Apr 19th 2010 12:45PM
'Mad Men' and 'Lost' have a lot in common. Both are critically acclaimed shows with small but fiercely devoted followings. Both feature square-jawed men and feisty dames, many of them with unresolved daddy issues, trying to understand life on a mysterious island characterized by brutal power struggles. Both shows center on thick plumes of smoke.

Now there's one more similarity: Both shows' creators decided about three seasons into their runs to end their series after six seasons. According to The Weekly Blend blog, 'Mad Men''s Matthew Weiner announced last week at the National Association of Broadcasters' convention in Las Vegas that he could not envision writing the show beyond a sixth season.

The show is currently in production on season 4, set to debut on AMC in July. Assuming the cable channel continues to renew the series -- and given its armload of Emmys, not to mention its status as the network's flagship program, there's no reason AMC would not want it to continue for as long as Weiner is willing to write it -- a sixth season would bring the series to a close in 2012.

Weiner has spoken before about wanting to write only four or five seasons of 'Mad Men,' and he's often hinted that he has an endpoint in sight for the stories of Don, Betty, Peggy, Joan, Pete, Roger and the rest of the Sterling Cooper ad agency crew. While 'Mad Men' has been much praised for its precise evocation of the early 1960s, it's pretty hard to imagine the show continuing for so long that its Brylcreemed characters are forced to confront the shaggy-haired 1970s. Six seasons sounds just about right.

Plus, as 'Lost' fans might tell 'Mad Men' fans, having the show's writers set a definite endpoint to the series can sharpen their focus, as happened to 'Lost,' which seemed to correct its course after wobbly second and third seasons. Besides, 'Lost' was able to spend three years creating "how-will-it-end?" tension and anticipation for the series finale (which, for 'Lost,' finally arrives on May 23).

No doubt Weiner will remain as secretive as 'Lost's' Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have about how their show will resolve its many mysteries and dangling plot threads.

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