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.