10/05/2013 10:58 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Why The Final Season Of 'Mad Men' Will Never Be 'Breaking Bad'


"Breaking Bad" ended with an incredible ratings surge -- over 10 million people watched its finale, a 300 percent jump from last year's midseason finale, likely the result of new fans (or slow old ones) rushing to catch up so they could watch the final episodes live. Early next year, AMC will begin its long good-bye to another signature show, "Mad Men;" like the network did with Bad, it will split the final season of Mad into two halves over two years. And just like Bad, Mad is available 24/7 on Netflix for anyone who wants to get up to speed (at least through season five, for now). But while Matt Weiner's drama is just as acclaimed, and has historically been just as heavily proselytized about by devoted fans, the odds of it experiencing a Breaking Bad-size surge are slimmer than those of Don Draper turning down an old-fashioned. This is not a qualitative judgment on Mad Men; it is just the difference between the urgency of a life-or-death show ... and a life or ennui show.


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