Basket of News, Mar. 24-30, 2012

 Posted by on March 30, 2012 at 9:00 am  Media-Web-News
Mar 302012

The Season 5 premiere of Mad Men was the most-watched episode of the series, up 21% over last season’s debut and up 17% in the 25-54 demographic.  “A Little Kiss”  also sparked big social media chatterAd Age notes the show is great art, but not a great ad draw.  The Atlantic Wire explains why ratings are a small part of The Mad Men Economy.

Matthew Weiner talks to Alan Sepinwall about “A Little Kiss.”  He also talks more broadly about S5 with AMC and gives a character-by-character tease to Entertainment Weekly.

The Paley Center shows us a bit of their S5 premiere party. [Apparently, there was no singing. -K]  The center’s Ron Simon writes about the way MM treats history.

Speaking of singing, much of the coverage of “A Little Kiss” centered on the star turn of Jessica Paré on “Zou Bisou Bisou” (now available via iTunes and on limited edition vinyl).  Here’s her post-premiere presser, with more about the episode with AMC and Entertainment Weekly.  Meanwhile, Vulture has the musical history of the song, with a bit more at The Film Experience.

Vulture also examines “What’s Really Happening When Mad Men‘s Characters Sing.”

Jessica Paré talks more broadly about Megan with Alan Sepinwall.  At TIME, James Poniewozik writes about Megan as a storytelling device.  Megan is just part of a Slate TV Club series on “A Little Kiss” also discussing Joan, Pete and Lane.

“A Little Kiss” began with a scene ripped from the headlines, albeit 1966’s headlines.

Elisabeth Moss talks to The Advocate about Peggy, Joyce, Joan, Jane Lynch and more.  She talks to the Canberra Times about the men in Peggy’s life.

Vincent Kartheiser was in Milford, NH, last  Sunday morning at the Good Loaf bakery promoting the Season 5 premiere.  VK talks leisure time at the NYT. And he talks Pete Campbell in a Rolling Stone video.

John Slattery talks to Alan Sepinwall about Roger’s position in the agency, his reaction to a Joan’s return to the office, John’s experience directing his third episode this season, and Jon Hamm’s experience directing his first.

Kiernan Shipka talks to the HuffPo about Sally Draper, secrecy, comedy and more. The Fug Girls track Kiernan’s fashion evolution. Racked National looks at Sally’s bedding.

Jon Hamm was once asked to father a child by a friend who was desperate to have a baby. [I’m guessing more than once, including by strangers. -KKelly Lynch remembers Jon as a hunky bartender.  JH also did the webseries 7  Minutes of Heaven.  He also talks around the Season 5 premiere at Zap2it.  There’s a preview of JH’s upcoming interview with Esquire UK at the Daily Mail.  Further DigitalSpy has 10 things to know about Jon [Veteran Basketcases likely know them, but we always hope for new readers. -K]

January Jones told The Times of London’s Culture magazine that Betty Francis is harshly judged and today’s parents are too uptight about raising children. [Xander would look sooo cute in a dry cleaning bag. -K]  Also, JJ is eating her placenta.

Janie Bryant judged Fashion Week in N’awlins, and talked about MM‘s Season 5 fashions at InStyle and at Slate.

MM set decorator Claudette Didul takes the L.A. Times on a tour of the Draper apartment. The NYT has a blurb from production designer Dan Bishop about it, too.

Curbed Los Angeles has a guide to Mad Men filming locations [I’m also adding this to our Links page. –D]

Bids are flying on eBay for a Mad Men walk-on role, which includes a VIP set tour from executive producer Scott Hornbacher. [As I write this, the current bid is $20,000. -K]

The Mad Men Power Rankings return at Grantland, which also ran a piece on MM and the twilight of the Golden Age of Television.

At the Paris Review, Adam Wilson writes Don Draper that It’s a Wonderful Life.

Unlikely Words catalogs Everything Don Draper Said in Season 4.  Flavorwire catalogs Every Woman Don Draper Hooked Up With in Season 4.

The Gloss is polling Megan vs. Betty. THR pits Jessica vs. January.

Scott Eric Kaufmann frames Sally and Don Draper in “A Little Kiss.”

The Atlantic Wire essays The Angry Women of Mad Men.  At Forbes, James Polous essays Mad Men and Unhappy Women. Feministe rounds up feminist-blogging on the return of Mad Men.

At Slate, Hanna Rosin looks at Babies on Mad Men.

The Collegian examines how Mad Men sold nostalgia to the iPhone generation. [Jon Hamm had a different take on the show’s appeal to the young during the pre-premiere TimesTalk. -K]

MTV mulls 10 lingering mysteries after “A Little Kiss.”

Refinery 29 surveys the Real Mad Men of NYC.

The Spectator’s Arts Blog has a small and funny complaint about the return of Mad Men.

College Humor gives 10 Reasons The Walking Dead Should Just Kill Carl.

Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis are set to star in Matthew Weiner’s feature film directorial debut (possibly with Amy Poehler).

Joel Stillerman, AMC’s senior vice president of original programming and production, talks to Canada’s National Post about The Killing.

AMC has a trailer for The Pitch online.  The show officially starts April 30, but there is a sneak preview on April 8, following MM and The Killing.  AMC President Charlie Collier spoke about the show at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ annual meeting, held this year in Los Angeles.

Charlie Collier also talked to THR about Mad Men, The Walking Dead, The Killing and more. [I have it on good authority that he is much taller than he looks in his pictures. -K]

Toots Shor’s, a Mad Men setting, is the subject of a new book.

Finally: Downton Arby’s.

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


  18 Responses to “Basket of News, Mar. 24-30, 2012”

  1. SO much information. Thanks for providing us with a one-stop-link-shop.

    And yeah, despite the fact that I’m 48, menopausal, and have 2 grown children, I am desperate for a baby and only Jon Hamm can assist. We’ll just leave his girlfriend and my husband out of the loop, ok?

  2. Nice to see that Matt Weiner has a “summer school” project with some heavy hitters. I’ll have to pencil “You Are Here” into my busy movie schedule.

  3. Did anyone catch this great column in the Star Tribune:

    Points out a problem with Peggy’s Catholicism. Check it out.

    • This was discussed extensively during Season 2, in connection to the priest subplot. It really feels like Matt is portraying Irish-Americans with Peggy’s family, and has inexplicably made them Norwegian.

    • I’ve wondered about that, too. Maybe mom is Irish and dad was the Norwegian. They seem totally NY Irish to me as well. Others would know far better than I though.

  4. I’m a grad student at University of Illinois, and helping their Unit for Criticism with blogging every episode of Mad Men this season (like they did season 4), in anticipation of the publication of MAD MEN, MAD WORLD: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s this fall. We’d love your feedback!

  5. Here’s what I think about placenta-eating: TMI. I don’t care who we’re talking about. Just TMI.

  6. Great job, Karl. I read your post every Friday. but this must have been the busiest week ever for you. Your roundup above is comprehensive, a wonderful look back at a great week.

    Thanks so much for pulling it all together!

    • I’m (usually) glad to do it. I think last Friday was the biggest Basket of News on my watch, but this one was close.

  7. Wow, there is more here even than I realized. It’s staggering. Great job, Karl.

  8. Such a huge assortment of links. Love it.

  9. Thanks all. Or is is “You’re welcome”? Pete would know…

  10. Atlantic Wire is more than a year out of date. In Britain Sky TV, a Murdoch satellite company operating on the HBO-type subscription model, now licenses and shows Mad Men. If I remember correctly, they pay about 3 or 4 times what BBC paid per episode for the earlier seasons. So even though viewership is way down as a result (98,000 vs. 335,000 on BBC 4, and probably a million if BBC had shown it on BBC 2) AMC is earning far more from Sky than Atlantic is crediting them from BBC.

    An interesting sidelight here: the British viewers, who were used to seeing Mad Men on BBC without ads (some of them think we had the same experience, on HBO rather than AMC) greatly feared the move to Sky partly because of ads. (There also seem to be millions of Brits who detest Rupert Murdoch so much that they will never in a million years subscribe t Sky, even though it’s pulling most of the American drama series now, not to mention cricket). In the event, they had only ONE commercial break during each hour (or maybe it was only one during the two hour viewing)! And apparently what they saw were 1960-era ads for current products, which they all enjoyed! A far cry from what we have to sit through if we want to watch it live. My recommendation: tape it on your DVR, then start watching 20-25 minutes in, skuip all the adds, and finish at the same time as live action viewers.

    BBC used to show Mad Men about 6 months later. Sky is showing it two days later than AMC, on Tuesdays. The Guardian newspaper has a great Mad Men blog, with very intelligent commenters, which is now pretty well current for us, by Tuesday:

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