Mad Men finale season split across two years

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, left, and Jessica Pare as Megan Draper Mad Men has won four Emmy awards for outstanding drama series

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The seventh series of the award-winning US drama Mad Men is to be split into two parts, with the finale pushed back to 2015.

US cable network AMC said seven episodes will air next spring, with the final seven broadcast in 2015.

Previous seasons of Mad Men, based around the New York advertising industry, have spanned 13 episodes.

The show's creator, Matthew Weiner, said the two-part season would enable "a more elaborate story'' to be told.

The decision to split the last season and delay the finale follows the strategy AMC took with its other successful drama, Breaking Bad, whose final season, now nearing its end, was also divided into two parts.

The New York Times reported the first seven shows of Mad Men will be shown under the title The Beginning, with the second group called The End of an Era.

Mad Men, which began in 2007 and stars Jon Hamm as 1960s ad man Don Draper, has won four Emmy awards for outstanding drama series.

It has another four major nominations ahead of this year's Emmy ceremony on Sunday, including best actor for Hamm - who has never won the category.

Oscar-winning Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne has been added to the writing staff for the seventh series, according to Variety.

Along with Shampoo and Greystoke: the Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Towne's writing credits include Mission: Impossible II and Days of Thunder.

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