Matthew Weiner, the creator of "Mad Men" -- whose final run of episodes premieres next weekend -- says he knew how the series would end, even before it had started.
At a Beverly Hills press conference, he said the series, which has occupied nearly a third of his life, had exceeded his wildest dreams.
Q: Have you always known how the series would end, and what the fate of Don Draper would be?
A: "I knew what would happen if we got long enough to get there... I told my wife first, then the writers, and I told Jon Hamm very early on. I think he liked it."
Q: Of all the social problems broached in the show, which ones still exist? And which do you think remains most acute, despite the decades since the era depicted in "Mad Men."
A: "The most startling thing to me is economic inequality... making people think there's social mobility, when there's not."
"I'm shocked that the conversation about race was so quiet for so many years. (People) thought when (President Barack) Obama was elected that the show would lose its relevance. And then we have new words for things like hate crimes."
Q: You recalled that when you first came up with the idea for "Mad Men," smartphones didn't exist, not to mention tablet computers and Twitter. What do you think of social media?
A: "With Twitter and Instagram, I'm an early adopter, so no judgement about it... What I miss the most about the pre-feed era is the water cooler."