Mad News, December 17-23, 2008

 Posted by on December 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm  Actors & Crew, Media-Web-News
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Mo Ryan, the Chicago Tribune’s “Watcher,” has made Mad Men her #1 show of 2008. No surprise there, Mo has been one of Mad Men’s biggest supporters from Day One. It’s part of why we love her. Another part is elegant phrasing like this:

Even when it confounded me, this rich, complicated drama about yearning, unpredictable men and women left me hungry for more. This year, the “Mad” men frequently yielded center stage to the show’s frustrated, fascinating women, who turned in stunning performances, and to supporting characters such as the lovable but heartbreaking Freddy Rumsen (Joel Murray). “Only connect,” E.M. Forster wrote. It’s never easy, but I look forward to watching Don Draper keep trying.

The Lafayette (of Louisiana) sees Mad Men as a metaphor for modern ambitions.

MSNBC sees Mad Men as predictive of coming styles. They’re not alone, of course.

Basket buddy Rolando of the Urbanite spotted a NYC sign that pays tribute to Mad Men.

Who will act with Elisabeth Moss now that Jeremy Piven has left Speed-the-Plow. Norbert Leo Butz and William H. Macy, according to AM New York. So, she’s in good company. And here’s bitchiness about Piven, including sarcasm from our dear sweet Elisabeth Moss! The same blogger (Hal Boedeker) who posted the bitchiness has also debunked Piven’s claim of mercury poisoning:

What about Jeremy Piven’s story of suffering mercury poisoning from eating too much sushi?

The Center for Consumer Freedom isn’t buying it.

“The entire medical literature doesn’t contain a single documented U.S. case of mercury poisoning from eating fish sold in restaurants and supermarkets,” said David Martosko, the center’s director of research. “Piven isn’t going to change that by making a convenient escape from a job he doesn’t like.”…

“Piven may not know it, but he’s playing games with Americans’ health,” Martosko said in a release. “Tall tales of mercury poisoning just make Americans afraid to eat fish, and that’s horrible for public health.”

But actor Fisher Stevens told the New York Post that he believes Piven. Stevens suffered from mercury poisoning earlier this year and said, “I believe him. His numbers are off the charts.” Stevens felt sluggish after eating fish four to five times a week. lists Mad Men among the best ensemble casts of 2008. (Thanks to Basketcase Michelle.)

AMC is ordering a third original series”a political thriller”on the heels of the success of Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

Zap2It’s TV Gal makes Mad Men #1 on her top ten.

A Mad Men-themed New Year’s Eve? Amazingly, I found two different articles suggesting this, each with the same illustration from Mad Men.

One NY Times columnist thinks Mad Men outshone most Hollywood movies this year. Another thinks season 2 wasn’t quite up to season 1, but was still “fantastic, while a third lists Don’s visit to Peggy in the psych ward as one of the most memorable scenes of the television year.

Some Mad Men holiday cheer from TV Squad.

Here’s a link to a podcast of Jon Hamm and Jimmy Kimmel discussing football. Thanks to Basketcase Mike A.

Stephen Armstrong of the London Times interviews Jon Hamm. (h/t Basketcase Helen)

I’ve never seen Melrose Place, so I don’t know whether or not this is cool. But I guess it’s cool that our Jan is getting the attention.

Gays on TV: Including Salvatore.

Last year, Bob Sassone wanted Mad Men swag for Festivus, and behold, there was swag. This year he wants Matt Weiner to do season 3. We’re hoping he’s on a streak.

Mad Men makeup artist Debbie Zoller loves Benefit cosmetics. So does Roberta.


  15 Responses to “Mad News, December 17-23, 2008”

  1. There's a two page spread of the women of Mad Men in this weeks Entertainment Weekly. They're listed as giving one of the best performances of 2008. Christina, Elisabeth, and January look gorgeous in the picture.

  2. has a list of Mad Men life lessons:

    Part one:

    Part two:

  3. Here's a slightly different take on the "Speed The Plow" cast's reaction to Piven's abrupt departure:

    “I know a lot of you wanted to see a big TV star,” Esparza remarked, “…but this is the first time all season this trio (which included Elisabeth Moss and Piven’s understudy, Jordan Lage) has felt like a team."

    According to an audience member, at that point, Moss became choked up and the cast hugged.

    Which sounds pretty Elisabeth Moss to me.

  4. That's it for you in NY theater for a long time, Jeremy Piven.

  5. Speaking of podcasts with Jon Hamm, I'm not sure if this was mentioned before, but he was on both Doug Benson's 'I Love Movies' and 'Never Not Funny' with Jimmy Pardo. The former is free and available through iTunes, while the latter has a free feed of the first 20 or so minutes at There's also about 5 minutes of video from 'Never Not Funny' with Jon talking about the Emmys at .

  6. I loved the EW spread. The Mad Women certainly are getting some much deserved love lately.

    And I hope AMC can go 3 for 3 on the amazing original series.

  7. It’s interesting in how everyone immediately believes David Mamet that Jeremy Piven was faking his illness, yet in reality no one truly knows the truth. But Mamet has spoken and he must be believed.

    Personally, I don’t know if Piven was speaking the truth or not. But I’m not going to make the mistake of assuming one way or the other . . . like Mamet and the cast of “SPEED-THE-PLOW”.

    • It's definitely not just Mamet who is saying it. Google 'mercury piven' and you'll see several articles. I read something about a very high level health care official who is concerned that Piven's feigning mercury poisoning is sending a dangerous message to the whole country.

  8. Jeremy Piven needs the man up. Typical rich pretty boy d-bag.

  9. Roberta, you read it right here in this very post:

    The Center for Consumer Freedom isn’t buying it.

    “The entire medical literature doesn’t contain a single documented U.S. case of mercury poisoning from eating fish sold in restaurants and supermarkets,” said David Martosko, the center’s director of research.

  10. I hope this slight backlash will stop him from winning his fourth (!) consecutive Emmy.

  11. From, which I trust regarding PR front groups and grasstops organizations:

    The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) (formerly called the “Guest Choice Network”) is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries. It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.’ ”

    Over 40 percent of the group’s 2005 expenditure was paid to Rick Berman’s PR company, Berman & Co. for “management services. As part of its operations CCF runs a series of attack websites, including “,,,,,, [and]

  12. Thanks cgeye, that’s interesting. I should have paid more attention to the source.

  13. I hope this does make Piven lose that award that should have gone to Neil Patrick Harris for the past 3 years.

  14. I am so disappointed — I have tix to see Speed-The-Plow in January. I love Elisabeth of course but Jeremy is #1 on my list (you know, THE list . . . should the opportunity ever arise, my husband would have to look the other way . . . LOL ).

    Anyway I too have read tons of articles calling him a liar and saying he wanted out. But from all I have read, Raul Esparza isn't so much fun to work with either. Hmmm . . .

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