'Mad Men': Matthew Weiner says the show will end in 3 seasons. Does this mean mustaches will be cool again?

Now that the protracted Mad Men negotiations are finally over, the show’s creator is looking ahead to the show’s future — and, surprisingly, already seems to have a conclusion in mind. Exec producer Matthew Weiner tells TV Guide that he only sees the show lasting for another three seasons: “I think that’s how long the story is…I want the show to end before the machinery has worn out.” It’s unclear if Weiner has run this plan by his network: AMC had no comment on the three-season plan. Weiner’s reps wouldn’t respond to EW’s calls for confirmation, but the 7th season cut-off seems to make sense. Weiner and the cast are currently only signed through season 6, but given that everyone involved with Mad Men has made their career off the show, it seems logical that everyone would be onboard for another season. (Although we can likely expect some fun season 7 contract negotiations.)

So now we have to start asking the deeper questions: Is seven seasons too few for a show this good? Or is it too many? Should the show go out earlier, before the flab starts settling in? And are you ready for the invasion of the ’70s mustaches?

On that last point: Let’s do some simple arithmetic. The first episode of Mad Men took place in March, 1960; the fourth season finale ended in October 1965. That’s a little under six years, or roughly 18 months per season. Assuming the next few seasons continue the show’s general trend of skipping forward in time between seasons, the show will probably end in early 1970. (Wonder if Richard Nixon will hire Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to run PR for his 1968 campaign?) When you factor in that Don now has a younger, less restrained wife, it’s entirely possible that he’ll loosen up his gray flannel suit just long enough to grow some period-appropriate facial hair in the final season. Which means that mustaches will be cool again sometime around 2014.

Putting aside fashion trends, seven seasons of Mad Men seems like just the right amount. I happen to believe that even the best TV shows stick around too long for their own good, but season 7 is a nice medium point between “didn’t last long enough” and “should’ve ended earlier.” But I’m interested to hear what you think, readers. Are you sad to hear that there is only a limited supply of Mad Men episodes left? Or do you think the show is running the risk of lasting a little bit too long? Seriously, does this mean that the ’70s are going to be cool again? Because that would be a very bad thing.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • tracy bluth

    I’m sure Jon Hamm would make the “70s look” hot.

    • Leslie Knope

      Please tell me that is Ron Swanson’s mustache you photoshopped onto Don Draper’s face.

  • Pittner

    Seven seasons is perfect. Not too many and not too few.

    • Mary

      Agreed. Seems just right.

  • Kat

    I think, like LOST, having an end-date will help the storytelling arc. At least they have security to tell the story they want, versus having to tie things up haphazardly when the show’s not renewed.

    • commentor

      One of the first things I thought of, re: the end date a la Lost. I wish more shows did it this way.

  • Mr. Holloway

    Mustaches stopped being cool…when?

    I also like the fact that Weiner has an endgame in mind because it means that he knows how this story ends. Plus, this isn’t Law & Order or CSI…we don’t need 10+ seasons.

  • commentor

    I predicted this yesterday. I think 7 is PERFECT.

  • Barbara

    I am over this show, not coming back. I lost interest when it left the early 60’s the thing that made it unique. It is on for a nano second and then gone, just not going to bother.Good bye.

    • commentor

      Bye! You won’t be missed.

  • Dave

    For a show like Mad Men, I think 6-7 seasons is perfect.

  • Anonymous

    I’d watch it more often if Jon Hamm has a mustache and showed off his hairy chest in every episode!!

  • Bobby

    As “That 70s Show” did, perhaps Mad Men’s final episode should be set on December 31, 1969. Yes, Mad Man isn’t “That 60s Show,” but it might be a good ending point for the series. Whether or not it will also be the end of Don Draper’s career/life/whatever is up to Matt Weiner.

  • xoanito

    I think it’s great news. I’m sick of shows not ending when they should. I also hope they stick to the plan, we don’t want a seventh season meltdown full of doubts (Gilmore Girls sadly springs to mind).

  • Steph

    I think that as long as the ending isnt empty,leaving me with a million questions and wonder, I will be content. cant wait for it to get rolling again!

  • Bucky

    Seven seasons seems too long. The long-running shows of the early 21st century have all had trouble finding an ending — I’m thinking of Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and the Sopranos. I think the Sopranos did the best job, but the other two totally lost my interest well before they limped to their weepy finishes. I’ve been loving Mad Men so far, but I agree that it needs that early 60s vibe to work. I’d say anything past 1966 would be stretching it. And we definitely shouldn’t have to go past the moon landing or Altamont!

  • Zaidi Baraka

    This show has endless potential being that it covers the most volatile, exciting, transformative years of American life! We can learn a lot from looking at it, from various angles, be it psychological, political, social, theological, racial, sexual, and on and on… . It could be entertaining as well as enlightening for a America that is still in-flux as it moves into the 21st century with a brand new generation of techno-bound, new age children.

  • Floretta

    Matt Weiner said years ago he planned on seven years and knew from the start how it would end. Now he just has to fill out the rest of the storylines to get to that point.

  • emme

    The show should go on until the story lines either become predictable or so far-fetched that it loses its edge. Characters can be added etc. It real is a question of $. WHen you think about only 13 episodes per year, compared to the #of episodes of high-rated shows of days can by, it seems debating whether 100 shows is enough, is a bit much. Now that millions are hooked on the show, waiting 17 or 18 months for an episode will probably hurt the show, its writers and cast in the long run

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