Mar 312011

So, wow, AMC must have had Variety on speed-dial. Matt promised us he would call us first, and he did; we just got off the phone. Because he called on no notice at all, I wasn’t recording, but I type at finger-blurring speeds, so this is very close to verbatim from Matt Weiner to us:

There are going to be three more seasons of the show and then it will be over.

There is going to be, characters will not be cut from the show unless it serves the story, and the product integration policy will remain as it’s been.

I am so excited that I get to keep doing this and overwhelmed by the realization that this show is as important to other people as it is to me.

I can’t thank you enough for your concern and your support and—just so everybody knows this is really me—I really hope the show is going to be good.

The way that it’s going to work is that the premiere…and the finale of each season will be the running time its always been; 47 minutes, and then AMC, on Sunday nights, will broadcast a 45 minute [show], and eight days later, there will be a digitally available “final cut” of the show available online. And that will be the running time and format of the way the show has always been.

I feel very blessed that i keep getting to make the show the way it is, and also that AMC has a version that works for them.

I asked if this changed the projected return date:

The show will be on in March of 2012, and that was always the plan of the network. They have four shows to launch this year, and honestly we will need that time.

The individual support, you, [the fans], the actors, the crew, has been tremendous.

You’re very important to the show, you’re everything to the show. I hope everybody is as happy as I am.

We are, Matt. We are.


  65 Responses to “Matt Weiner’s words to the fans”

  1. Perhaps BOK pressured AMC just a teensy weensy to Save Mad Men from the Ad Men.

  2. Well done, Deborah, I know your beating the tom-toms helped. Three more years, yeaaaa!

  3. I’ve been saying to my friends that I trust Matt, I believe that he is a man of integrity, and that he is working very hard to bring the show back in the best possible way.

    I’m happy to hear this news, and can’t wait…. well, I CAN wait, because I know it will be worth the wait.


  4. Hot damn! This calls for an Old Fashioned! And way to go Lipp Sisters — this site will go down in history.

  5. Explain the 47 minute/45 minute thing to me. AMC will be editing the show upon rebroadcast? That’s not good.


    I Can Exhale Now!!!

    (HUGE GRIN!!!!) Love to Matt and the whole MM CAST!!!!
    And Thanks, Lipps! You are MM too!

  7. Weiner will be making the edits, not AMC.

  8. Crying. Actually crying. 🙂

    THANKS, LIPP SISTERS. <3 <3 <3

  9. Excellent news! Thanks for the scoop!

  10. And great of MW to honor his promise to the Lipps as well.

  11. I am doing a happy dance!!!! Yippee!! Yay!! Excellent news!! Thanks to both Lipps and to Matt for their committment to the fans and the show.

    Now for a question – if the show doesn’t premiere till 2012, when will they start production? Has that been determined?

  12. What’s the digital final cut online that he mentioned? Is that a longer version? Does anybody know the length of that? It almost sounds like he is saying the online version will have material that was edited out of the broadcast version. And which version does Amazon video get?

  13. Good news! But a question, though:

    Does the 3-season deal mean we won’t be subjected to protracted contract delays between-seasons, as has just happened (and happened before on hiatus)?

    Also like to point out that a definite ending (3 more seasons and out) is A VERY GOOD THING for organic story progression and closure. Matt and crew can sketch out the arcs and know just how to pace them to unfold properly. Well done, Matt!

  14. I’m glad to hear this news, and congrats Lipp sisters for your part. I think AMC felt the pressure from the fans through BoB, as well as other sources. And of course MW fighting for artistic integrity.

    I am disappointed though that MW felt he had to give in on the additional 2 minutes of commercials on the regular sunday shows. And then AMC allowing for the 2 minutes to be restored in a video made available “on-line” eight days later. AMC obviously wants to make a few extra bucks.

    If only the Lipp sisters had a little more time to build up a head of steam on the facebook page protesting the proposed additional ad time. We wouldn’t have to wait eight days and pay to watch the complete episode.

  15. It means there’ll be no more contract-wrangling with Weiner, but I’m pretty sure that the cast is only signed through season 6, so there might be some renegotiation drama with them a couple years from now.

  16. Right on, Lipp ladies!! Good work!

  17. Evidently AMC doesn’t realize there are other days of the week besides Sunday.

  18. The digital final cut will be 47 minutes, and should be available anywhere you get it digitally, such as iTunes, and I assume that means Amazon as well.

  19. Such great news! I’m so relieved and happy right now. 🙂

  20. Whew.

  21. The three season deal is a three season deal, so Matt will not be negotiating another contract for this show. It doesn’t mean all contracts are negotiated, just Matt’s.

  22. Congrats to AMC, Weiner, the writer’s room, designers, the actors, cast, crew, DVD-producers and of course Basket of Kisses. Refreshing to see cooler heads prevail.

    This goes against my instincts but the whole “final cut” thing now seems not only like a sensible compromise – it’s got additional benefits. My issue with the cut-time was never about the premiere/broadcast aspect, but whether those minutes would never have been budgeted to exist in the first place. Now they can. And, furthermore – I think this’ll make the final 3 seasons have an additional secondary wave of conversation for the obsessives among us – 8 days after the broadcast version, the new versions will appear – keeping the conversation going even more.

  23. I’d ASSume that the blu-ray and dvd versions will get the longer producer’s cuts for each episode as well. What I’d love (and won’t happen here) would be to have an extended producer’s cut for the blu-ray/dvd sets without time constraints (imagine a 60-75 min episode!) – but Matt won’t have time to edit/finish three versions (broadcast, digital, extended producer’s cuts). But still, this is a happy, happy day.

  24. For LippSisters +100 blogmaster points; for AMC -2 minutes and a backhanded slap with a pair of 1960’s white cotton gloves.

    Mad Men was remarkably enjoyable but this type of show surviving a two year hiatus is highly questionable. Many viewers will not appreciate being manipulated – especially those of the artistic mien and MM’s majority audience. AMC squeezed that last drop of ad-blood and used it to schedule a rude awakening on their product-placed revised minutes calendar.

  25. OMG Can’t believe it’s gonna be one more year… Better late than nothing I guess. And kudos to Matt! I guess some compromise is inevitable. But since this is gonna be the last one, just giving up 2min is better everything else I guess.

    thank you very much, Mr Matthew Weiner!

  26. AdGirl, I get that a year from now is a long time to wait. Still, I’m happy they worked it out.

    And as I said, I’ll be here when the show comes back. Just called my sister to confirm: that’s three years of watch dates, for her and for me. (We were both English majors. Mad Men means lot to us; there’s not much else I watch.)

    Thanks again, ladies. (And Matt.)

  27. People seem to be thinking that the longer 47-minute version will exist for every episode. But all I have read says that this is true just for the first and last episodes. Or is that these two are the only ones that will get full-length first broadcasts, while episodes 2-12 will get the shorter 45-minute versions on first broadcast, but still will get the longer versions “online” 8 days later and on DVD? Will *all* the episodes have a 47-minute format online after 8 days, or just episodes 1 and 13?

    • berk, all episodes will have a 47 minute format. Only episodes 1 and 13 will be broadcast (in original run) in that format. Episodes 2-12 will be broadcast in the 45 minute format and be made available digitally in the 47 minute format 8 days later.

  28. Good news, and the way this was playing out in a public forum definitely played in MW’s favor and BOK deserves big kudos for that. BRAVO!

    The only thing I find strange is the 45 and 47 minute thing. What was wrong with letting the show run a couple minutes over an hour? Then the next episode does the same, and they start a movie at quarter after when both airings are done? Why isn’t that the easier, more logical solution?


  29. “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”
    Michael Corleone

  30. How does the option for a 7th season work? What kind of timing is involved with something like that?

    When I first read about this, my initial thought concerned this option thing. If recent reports in the media are accurate, no writing has officially been done for Season Five yet.

    I’m sure that Matt has some sort of outline or at least a pretty clear idea of the new season – and beyond – but if only the 5th and 6th seasons of the show are currently “firm,” wouldn’t that present a nightmare in the writing process? Would he have to write S-6 in such a way that by episode 13, the series could believably end there?

    What about the Season 7 option? At what point would it be clear that it would actually be produced and how might that affect the “believable end” situation at the end of S-7 instead of S-6? As I said, it seems like a writing nightmare.

    I’m probably not asking it right, but I am interested in this S-7 option stuff, so if someone could explain how it works, I’d appreciate it!

  31. We get to analyze to death the regular episodes and then the final cut — it’s a geek’s dream. 🙂

  32. 3 more seasons – good news

    1 year wait – bad news

    oh well, you win some, you loose some…great work Lipps

  33. Somebody asked when will production start: last year it started 4 months prior to premiere. So, I think it will start in December 2011 – for March 2012 premiere

  34. According to production starts in July, so they should be pretty much done when Mad Men finally returns.

    I’m pretty happy with this deal. Sure, the 45/47 minutes thing is not ideal, but at least I have something to look forward to when buying the Blu-ray. And waiting one more year doesn’t seem too bad when taking into consideration that these were the last negotiations between Weiner and AMC/Lionsgate, and the next two seasons of the show are a done deal.

    • I rather imagine we’ll have to start a “Two Minutes” feature on the blog, describing the difference between the two versions as soon as we know.

  35. Delurking (as MM-obsessed as the rest of you, just quieter) to say Hooray! Thanks, Lipps, for updating, and Matt for letting us know (and for creating–and fighting for–such an overwhelmingly wonderful show).

    Three more years? Will Sally experience the Summer of Love…Woodstock? Will this give the show a chance to hit the early ’70’s? Was rather looking forward to see Don (and Megan, Betty, Sally, etc.) move into that milieu, too…

    So very glad the artistic integrity of the show will remain. I can wait a year for that. It would be too sad, otherwise.

  36. Six cheers for Basket of Kisses! While the delay is hard to take, the final result is good for all of us. Thanks for helpin’ keep’m honest! Good work.

  37. This will be my first stop from now and forever re: all things MM. Thanks Lipp Sisters!

  38. Great work, Lipps!!!

    When you started this little site you couldn’t have imagined getting calls from Matt to deliver such important news about our show.

    When the most important person related to Mad Men needs to talk to the fans, he dials you. Awesome and, I hope, very gratifying.

  39. In a way, I am slightly happy it’s not coming back until 2012 because then…the show can last just a little bit longer. So happy it will be around for THREE more years!! I saw an interview with Christina Hendricks just days ago and she definitely seemed nervous, which made me nervous!

    So, I’m glad it worked out…thanks for all the work you guys do on the site as well.

  40. If shooting starts in July, that’s good news. If the time jump equates roughly to real time, the young actors will not look the wrong age. The time gap between shooting and showing the eps is all to the good, for maintaining quality.

  41. Thanks all of you for the acknowledgment. I really believe that the existence of our site, which allows for a presence of Mad Men’s truest fan voice, has impacted the results of this negotiation. It provided a callout for the integrity that Matt was fighting for. You should all be proud to have made a difference.

  42. when Anne B says “there’s not much else I watch.” she means there’s not much else she watches three times in a row with a notepad and laptop, while texting her big sis throughout.

    At least that’s how it seems from this end of the sofa.

  43. @38 Thanks, Deborah, for clarifying! That really wasn’t clear to me.

    OK, now that it is, we have an interesting compromise here. I like it, and I understand why Matt Weiner agreed to this (or even proposed it, for all we know). From the beginning, he has been grateful for the opportunity to make the show how he wants it, and put up with the necessities of real life – the commercials he has to work around – but has always had his eye on the long view – eternity. As long as he can get it made so it lasts in the DVD version – complete, and without interruptions – he’ll get it done, and that’s how it should be. I’m sure he’ll be clever in getting the 45-minute version to be plausible and convincing for first viewing, with something to look forward to in the extra 2 minutes to come – almost like we do already looking forward to DVD commentaries when they come. And in the end, all that will matter is the final version.

    This is a decent compromise.

  44. […] pisali, Mad Men se vraća početkom 2012. u petoj sezoni. Nadopuna: Weiner kaže da će nova sezona krenuti u ožujku. To je praktički puna godina, ljudi. […]

  45. @#35- I was also just doing the math in my head, wondering where we’ll end up. Kiernan will turn 15 in 2014, and it will be interesting to see where they’ll take her character. Mad Men isn’t as “dark” as Weeds or The Sopranos as far as the children transitioning into teens with really heavy material, but she’ll still have a lot to work with.

  46. well done R & D! Testament to the impact of BoK.

    ’66 – ’69 is such an incredibly intense period in history there’s no shortage of social and political events to frame the story line. Those of us who were around and at a highly impressionable age know what’s ahead for Sally and Bobby.

    Nixon, having learned his lesson in ’60, made heavy use of agency image-makers to rebrand himself prior to the ’68 election (his cronies Haldeman and Ron Ziegler both hailed from J. Walter Thompson) I’ve always wondered if Matt would explore this angle for Don – introduces a whole new realm of possibilities and locations.

    I’m really hoping with the longer development time we get back to the excellent, adult storytelling and attention to period detail beyond fashion that framed the earlier seasons. To me, many of the S4 episodes while brilliantly acted lacked that perspective making what used to be repeat episode viewing one and done, similar to later seasons of the Sopranos especially after their long hiatus. I really, really hope that will not happen here and what we will see beginning next March will be the true golden age of MM. Thanks to all on this board for making our voices heard!


    Seven seasons, seems about right, too.

  48. Still… in spite of this deal…

    AMC’s going to have to rebuild their reputation after this drama.

  49. Huh.

    Seems that colorless, odorless poison I’ve been dosing big #44 [my husband] with, up there, is not working quickly enough. Not quickly enough at all.

    Can anyone recommend a police procedural I could watch that might produce faster results? Embedded in a storyline, perhaps?

    Thanks in advance. Kisses!!!

  50. Anne,
    Is it my imagination or does every big-name actress getting a TV show end up in a cop drama? Krya Sedgewick(Closer), Jennifer Beals(Chicago), Dana Delaney (Body of Proof), Angie Harmon(Somebody? & Somebody?).

    Take your pick.

  51. Or nursing.

    Jada Pinkett/ Edie Falco.

  52. […] Mad Men creative contract deal had been sanctioned and consummated. Huzzah! (The Lipp Sisters got a Weiner-god exclusive here.) As a voice on a blog I lost the immediacy and relevance of my post, so sad. But as a Mad Men […]

  53. Dance, most TV producers think there are no other occupations. I mean, really, other than our ad men, isn’t everyone on TV involved with medicine and/or law enforcement? I mean, especially in dramas.

    Even if you get an exception: A social scientist like Cal Lightman of Lie to Me, what does he do with his science? Solve crimes.

  54. #52 Angie Harmon(Somebody? & Somebody? – Rizzoli and Isles – pretty good show

  55. Or lawyer shows, which I guess is a shootoff of law enforcement Glenn Close on Damages, Kathy Bates on Harry’s Law.

    I think it’s just over-40 actors in general though- you also have Forest Whitaker and Gary Sinise on their respective law enforcement shows.

  56. Deborah,
    Alien invasions.
    ‘Nuff said.

  57. I am so excited about the news that Mad Men will continue. Such a fantastic show. Thanks to all who helped keep the show alive. Kuddos to Matt Weiner for his perseverance!!

  58. Deborah & Roberta- Babies, ya’ll are the greatest! (Jackie Gleason kiss) ;O) THANK YOU for your effort. I can now breathe a sigh of relief, I was really getting worried there for a bit.

    My only qualm: (and please no one shoot me for this comparison)…when Project Runway moved from Bravo to Lifetime, the show really lost momentum….due to the wait? or the not-so-stellar cast, the next time ’round…? My point is, negotiations + really long wait can sometimes alienate fans, not that I won’t be watching come next March…just saying.

    I know anticipation is great for certain things….how much time is too long, I wonder? In the meantime, I hope AMC will throw us some marathon bones for the long, hot summer….

  59. @35-Sally will experience it through the nightly news, magazines, and older siblings of friends. However, I would much rather the show skip 1967 and go right to 1968.

    Yeah!!!!!!!!!! “Mad Men” is coming back! This is great news. Thanks Lipp Sisters, for all the hard work you do.

  60. Dance (hello dear!) & Deb,

    It is high time for a show about a woman who cleans people’s homes — each one, exactly once (or tries to limit her engagements this way). She takes something of small emotional value from each home, and deploys it in the next one.

    No crimes, other than this one, involved. (Alien invasions? Perhaps the woman is one, of a kind.)

    Now there’s a show I’d watch.

  61. I’m disappointed. This show always belonged on HBO or SHOW. This tawdry cheapness would not have occurred there. The show would have been better there. At least we now have some clarity.

  62. Deborah & Roberta:

    Thank you so much for devoting your time and creativity to all of us. We appreciate the forum you provide to intelligently discuss and analyze Mad Men, especially as it relates to us on some very personal levels. Plus, its just damn fun, ya know?

    Through you both, I have been able to expand my circle of friends (hey there Annie & Jim!) and I do look forward to one day meeting you both.

    A year is not so long to wait and we’ll all have lots to talk about.

    PS Tell Arthur to keep posting. I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead. It reminds me of the place I work. Cheers!

  63. I’m disappointed. This show always belonged on HBO or SHOW. This tawdry cheapness would not have occurred there. The show would have been better there. At least we now have some clarity.

    HBO? The network that cancelled Deadwood, promised a movie & then dropped those plans? What about Rome, also cancelled early; Wikipedia said a movie was planned–as of 2008! Then there was Carnivale–also ended prematurely. By HBO.

    Glad Mad Men is coming back!

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