Mar 312011

If you subscribed to Variety, you would be reading this:

Break out the cocktails: AMC and “Mad Men” creator/exec producer Matthew Weiner have reached an agreement for a new contract that will keep the showrunner at the helm of Emmy winning drama series for as many as three more seasons.
Deal comes after a week of high-tension and highly public talks focusing on points pressed by AMC and “Mad Men” producer Lionsgate TV in order to maximize the series’ revenue potential on the front end, by squeezing more commercial spots into each seg and trimming the cost of the series’ large ensemble.

Here’s more from THR:

“I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support.” Weiner said in a statement. “I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning.  I’m excited to get started on the next chapter of our story.”
The Wrap has even more of the official statements.  The Variety piece suggests the parties compromised on the running time of each episode and that the studio “backed down a bit” on the cast cost issue.  No word yet on the product placement issue. Via Basketcase Andrew in the comments, Deadline has the deets on the running time issue — 47 minute premieres and finales, 45 minute regular eps, but Matt can do 2 extra minutes for those for other platforms, i.e., iTunes, OnDemand, DVD, etc.  One other bit of sad news from Variety — we may have to wait until next March for Season 5.

Previously on Mad News…

AMC officially greenlit Season 5 of Mad Men, but there was no deal for showrunner Matthew Weiner, who spoke exclusively to Basket of Kisses about the negotiations.  The most controversial issue was cast-cutting measures

And on the lighter side…

As you undoubtedly know, Season 4 arrived on DVD this week, allowing us all to plow into the generously supplied commentaries.

Matt Weiner did an interview and an eclectic Guest DJ set for KCRW, available to read, stream or download. THR presents five things to know about our favorite showrunner, most of which Basketcases know.

Jon Hamm will perform in a version of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters for the L.A. Theatre Works from April 13-17.  Salon asks whether Jon and Jennifer Westfeldt are the new “Camelot couple.”

Vincent Kartheiser will be having a “dialogue” at an exclusive luncheon for the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis on April 20.

Christina Hendricks was among the stars the opening of the Vivienne Westwood Boutique in Los Angeles, California.

Jessica Pare talked to the Canadian Press about the mystery of playing Megan Calvet.

Michael Gladis has signed up for a guest role in Leverage… as a PR expert. [Don would never go for those sort of shenanigans. -K]

Mad Men won the Los Angeles Conservancy’s media award, for sparking “an explosion of interest in all things 1960s, including architecture, bolstering efforts to save greater L.A.’s rich, yet highly vulnerable, legacy of sixties resources.”

Janie Bryant was all over the Canadian media, talking about Mad Men’s impact on fashion.

However, at Esquire, Richard Dorment argues the MM look is dead.

Seattlest helpfully rounds up Alan Sepinwall’s coverage to date of AMC’s The Killing.  He apparently likes it, “with reservations.” The New York Post has a rave review. Co-star Eric Ladin talks to the Daily Trojan about his career to date.

AMC is developing The Voyage, a new drama series about man’s first contact with extraterrestrial life.

Mad News is compiled by Deborah and Karl — and Basketcases contributing in the sidebar.


  13 Responses to “Matt Weiner and AMC agree to two or three more seasons of Mad Men! (Plus Mad News, March 26-April 1, 2011)”

  1. Deadline has the details on the running time compromise. The premiere and finale of each season will still run 47 minutes. Weiner will have to deliver 45 minute cuts of the other 11 episodes for the AMC airings, he’ll have the option to make 47 minute cuts of those episodes for other platforms (i.e. On Demand, iTunes, DVD, etc.).

  2. i really don’t understand how AMC could say “make a 45 minute show but you’ll be allowed to add two minutes when it comes out on DVD”. Mad Men is a show where every minute is dedicated to advancing the plot. So what would be the point of adding two minutes of fluff to the DVD, it’s pointless.

  3. AMCHD,

    Actually, the AMC reruns of the premieres and finales get trimmed by 2 minutes — even on premiere/finale night — while the material remains for other platforms. So it’s not a bad compromise.

  4. Yeeeeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!!!!

    And with the initial moment of elation taken care of, I want to know which version will be available on the iTunes store the morning after it airs. I don’t have a TV and I like to watch Mad Men on the subway on my way to work.

  5. My reason for living is back!

  6. […] some tough negotiations, AMC and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have come to an agreement to resume production on the series, which has been renewed for two […]

  7. Let the guessing begin! Last show:Woodstock? Moon landing? Voice-over a la American Graffiti with an update of what happened to the characters in coming years? SO happy, relieved we don’t have to go through this silly drama (the negotiations, not the show) again.

  8. Derby Day,

    It’s my understanding that iTunes would have the longer version.

  9. I don’t understand the elation over this news. There was never any doubt that Mad Men would return. If what I’m reading is correct, it seems to me the end result of this is that fans got screwed. To wit:

    We’ve diluted the product by 2 minutes. AMCHD is correct: those two minutes that get added back can’t be anything but fluff now; if they were critical to the storyline you couldn’t leave them out of the initial broadcast.

    We all but lost season 5 and are skipping to season 6. March 2012? RIDICULOUS. (If I could write that bigger, I would.)

    I have no doubt that some will argue this could have been worse but that is little consolation. Shame on AMC for diluting the best show on TV; and shame on Weiner for caving. This whole thing stinks.

  10. Tim L: how can you say “We all but lost season 5 and are skipping to season 6.”?? Season 5 will start shooting this summer (July I think) – no skipping anything. Delayed yes, lost no. We’ll pick up in season 5 wherever Matt had planned on picking up if they’d begun shooting this spring for August.

  11. All I can think of is that Sally Draper is going to look SO old by the time the show’s back. I wonder if they’ll create a time jump because of it…what is the actress, ten? Prime age for growth spurts.

  12. Maybe they can feed Kiernan Shipka growth retardants in her kiddy kibble, Natalia.

    Just kidding. I don’t see a big problem, if they start shooting in the summer. There was a 15 month time gap between the first two seasons, so they could skip a few months if that fits the story. We left off mid-October 1965. Depending how they want to pace the last 3 seasons, they could skip ahead to 1967.

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