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Mad Men season 4 preview featuring Jon Hamm

Mad Men returns July 25 with 17 Emmy nominations in its pocket. Mad Men season three closed with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) left high and dry by his ladies while starting a new company on his own. It’s a year later and a whole new game this season on Mad Men.

The world of Mad Men imploded last season, setting up a fresh start for Mad Men’s fourth year on AMC.

Mad Men stars Jon Hamm and returns July 25 on AMC

“It’s almost like this first episode is a new pilot,” Jared Harris (Lane) previews. “[Creator Matthew Weiner] gets to chuck all the cards up in the air and rearrange them any way he wants to.”

In last season’s finale of Mad Men, dapper Don came up the loser in the romance department. His wife, Betty, left with her new man, Henry Francis, and Don’s newest lover Connie Hilton also gave him the boot.

While Don got settled into his lonely hotel room, Connie’s exit turned out to be yet another disaster at Sterling Cooper. The result was the creation of a whole new company, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce!

Mad Men star Elizabeth MossMad Men season 4 picks up almost a year later and the first episode promises to be very Don-centric.

It’s Thanksgiving, 1964, and the new company SCDP has grown from a hotel start-up to playing in the big leagues, with an office in the Time Life Building. The fledgling company has met with some success, but in the premiere episode, Don’s mistake might put all those efforts to waste.

His big gaff may have something to do with an interview he’s pressured into doing with the press.

“[The] new season is all about what it’s like for this very secretive man who has a dual identity to suddenly be front and center as one of the faces of the new agency,” creator Matthew Weiner told New York Magazine. “How is he going to handle it?”

On the personal front, the family holiday finds Don a divorced man living in The Village. The ladies’ man is in a bit of a funk and seems to have lost his game. He has even resorted to paying a call girl or two for some action, but Sterling hopes to change his pal’s streak by setting him up on a blind date.

Meanwhile, Don’s former wife, Betty, is failing to bond with her critical new mother-in-law, but the exes should be focusing their attention on their daughter, Sally. Spoilers preview major trouble brewing there.

Fans will find much has changed in the world of Mad Men, but don’t expect this to be an entirely new game. These are still the same characters, prone to making the same mistakes.

“The show has ably proven over its first three seasons that people don’t really change their ways,” Jon Hamm teases.

Tune in Sunday, July 25 at 10 pm on AMC.

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