Mad Men Season 5 proved to be the most polarizing in the show’s history to date (it even failed to snag a Golden Globe nod for Best TV Drama), but its themes of social, political and cultural upheaval – coupled with the emergence of modern domestic dissatisfaction – resonated with even the more critical viewers and fans.
Thus, anticipation remains high for the return of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce staff, following the S5 finale – and its ominous conclusion - but proceeding what has been acknowledged as the penultimate season, before we learn Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) ultimate fate in the seventh season.
AMC has announced that Mad Men S6 will premiere this year on Sunday, April 7th at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, beginning (like S5) with a two-hour episode – written by head showrunner and creator Matthew Weiner – before it returns to the regular 10 p.m. ET/PT time slot on the 14th, with an episode that Hamm is directing.
Here are statements from the official press release:
“To be able to continue exploring the stories of these characters for a sixth season is an amazing opportunity,” said Weiner. “We love mining this world andlook forward to bringing the audience stories that we hope will continue to both surprise and entertain them.”
“It is a calling card and a point of great pride for AMC to be the network home of’Mad Men,’ led by Matthew Weiner and his brilliant team,” said Charlie Collier, President and General Manager, AMC. “We can’t wait to share season six with the world and what better way to start than with a special two-hour premiere?”
“The success of ‘Mad Men’ is built on the exceptional artistry and imagination of Matthew Weiner, the cast, and the entire writing and producing team,” saidKevin Beggs, President, Lionsgate Television Group. “They continually strive to raise the bar and we look forward to bringing viewers another great season.”
Furthermore, during an interview with The Daily Beast, Weiner confirmed (again) that season 7 is going to be the last. He emphasized that having an end date was instrumental in shaping the overall narrative for S6 and that executive producers (and fellow showrunners) Maria and André Jacquemetton convinced him to not hold anything back for the final season; though, Weiner suspects he will “probably be painted into a corner by the end of the season,” but seems okay with the idea (in the public eye, anyway).
Weiner also confirmed the following:
- Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) is returning in S6, but there’s no guarantee she’ll ever reunite with Don (professionally or personally, for that matter).
- The final, cryptic, moments in the S5 finale are very important, in setting the stage for season 6. In fact, Weiner advises that viewers “just [re-watch] the last 10 minutes of Season 5 right before Season 6 starts.”
- Peter Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) will NOT commit suicide this season, as Weiner admits the aura of despair – giving way to self-inflicted death – surrounding the character in S5 was “completely unconscious on my part.”
Lastly, Weiner says season 6 and 7 will have the most observable contemporary relevance of any seasons in the show to date:
“There’s always the intention to have it have something to do with the world we’re in right now. That’s only because I only can write from what I know. And for some reason or another, this season feels particularly related to where I feel that we are right now, as a country and as a society…There’s been a bit of a blow to our self-esteem. None of the economic realities of the ’60s, of any of the years that we’ve done the show, reflect what’s going on right now. It was really a boom time for the economy, for job creation, and American industry. But I think that the social order, the blow to our self-esteem and turning inward as we deal with the loss of something. The loss of our—now I’m being super-vague about it. I’m not prepared to talk about it.”
We’ll find out exactly what he means when Mad Men returns with its sixth season on April 7th, 2013, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.