Basket of News, March 31 – April 6, 2012

 Posted by on April 6, 2012 at 9:00 am  Media-Web-News
Apr 062012

Ben Feldman (Michael Ginsberg) talks to Zap2It about the secrecy of his casting , Jon Hamm and Matthew Weiner as directors, and more. He gets more into the episode at VultureHeeb magazine notes Feldman is also a winemaker.

Heinz issued a statement about its baked beans appearing on Mad Men.

Gothamist has pictures of the Rolling Stones at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium on July 2nd, 1966, background, plus a look at the site today.

At TNR, Alec MacGillis and Timothy Noah offer differing views on the Henry Francis/George Romney imbroglio in “The Tea Leaves.”

Matthew Weiner, Jon Hamm, Vincent Kartheiser, Rich Sommer and… Weird Al Yankovic.  Bowling.

Elisabeth Moss answers more than 20 questions for The Guardian, with one answer sounding much like Peggy.

January Jones talks to AMC about breaking up the Draper home, fashion, feminism and more.

Jon Hamm talks to AMC about Superman, Don Draper, directing and more.  DIY has a broader twopart interview conducted during the BAFTAs.  Also, Jon is more supportive of therapy than Don.  Tom & Lorenzo have all the pics from the Esquire UK piece with Jon previewed here last week.  Plus, JH talks about his years as a waiter to his dream job with Reuters.

Jessica Paré has come a long way, baby. All the way to People magazine, in fact.  You can hear her talk about Megan, singing and such on the CBC.

Betty Francis and Don Draper were the focus of this week’s MM series at Slate.  They — and Downton Abbey‘s Vera — are also juxtaposed interestingly at Tiger Beatdown.

Twitter had fun at the expense of Betty Francis.

One of our readers points us to the Wikipedia entry for Stimson House (Casa Francis).

Kiernan Shipka continued her fashion streak at the Kids’ Choice Awards.

Christina Hendricks, Seth Rogen, and Rainn Wilson hit the stage in Los Angeles on March 29th for an adaptation of cult classic The Big LebowskiCrave finally runs a Q &A with Christina from the Television Critics Association cocktail party with an ecouraging MM nugget.

Jared Harris talks period roles in a USA Weekend video.

At The Atlantic, Janie Bryant talks about costume designing Mad Men, with a focus on Betty’s lace dress in “My Old Kentucky Home” and Joan’s dress in “A Little Kiss” (sketches included). [Janie also tells the story about Betty’s dress with verve on the DVD commentary for “MOKH.” -K]

André and Maria Jacquemetton talk to BU Today about the Mad Men writers’ room, what it’s like working with each other, and their advice for students looking to write for film or television.

IndieWire surveys the women of MM Season 5.

At the Daily Beast, Rebecca Carroll notes that black women still battle Mad Men in corporate America.

The Social Times has a long infographic for Mad Men in the Modern Tech World.

Mad Men Post-it Notes.

WNYC Soundcheck talks to Rolling Stone editor Anthony DeCurtis tells us what was being heard in mid-1966.

Forbes wonders: “Can Mad Men Sell Ugly Clothes Too?”  At the HuffPo, James Sanders writes about adapting the show’s look for big and tall men.

Bill Hader reveals his favorite SNL host is Jon Hamm.

Characters from Mad Men and Game of Thrones fight to the death at the Daily Beast.

The Killing premiere broke AMC’s ratings hot streak, but E! Online lists 5 reasons to stick with the show.

TV Line has the first 2 minutes of Falling Skies, Season 2.

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


  28 Responses to “Basket of News, March 31 – April 6, 2012”

  1. It should come as no surprise that Heinz officially denies paying any product placement fees.

    Generally the whole point of paying fees for product placement instead of just buying commercial time on a show is to keep the product placement a secret.

    Personally I believe Heinz got more than their money’s worth.

    • It’s possible Heinz isn’t being straight about the product placement, but Matt Weiner isn’t shy about distinguishing between the actual product placement and his own ideas on the DVD commentary… so we’ll probably learn eventually. (E.g., Hilton approached for placement, but they never came to an agreement, according to MW.)

      • Karl, remember that Matt Weiner was coy on his commentaries about “Guy Walked Into An Advertising Agency” relative to product placement by Dr. Pepper and John Deere.

        Immediately John Deere issued press releases that read as if written long in advance. JD made it clear that mowers should not be used indoors by people not trained in driving mowers and never near the feet of guys who expected to golf again.

        The fact is someone provided a mint-condition period correct JD riding mower, one of which belongs to the JD museum.

        Back in Season 3 there were cries that Dr. Pepper was never sold in Greater New York at the time (1964) and yet on-line clear proof was presented that the mighty MM research staff got that correct. That pristine period correct vending machine had to come from somewhere, perhaps the Dr. Pepper museum. They never denied paying for product placement.

        Smart people who benefit from product placement simply neither confirm nor deny.

        • Some of the pristine period items are bought on ebay, and some come from one of the handful of Hollywood vendors who specialize in creating period-correct replicas. Sometimes the props department gets an unusable period item to serve as a model for a recreation. There have been quite a number of articles and interview segments mentioning this and other acquisition methods about specific props. One of the replica vendors was profiled in a magazine a couple of years ago.

          • You are absolutely correct Deborah, prop and set dressing specialists have done all those things under my supervision for decades.

            See, there are many advantages to producing entertainment in the Hollywood area. We do have choice of many scenic shops and a whole lot of props. Unfortunately many of the small specialized prop shops have been bought out by mega firms due to runaway production.

            Still, when a series such as Mad Men is set in NYC, probably it is runaway from East to West to shoot it in Los Angeles.

            Ugly Betty (not Betty Draper) was set in Manhattan, yet was produced in Hollywood, until New York offered a tax deal. I thought it hilarious that as the set was being folded for shipment to NYC, folks in Hollywood called that runaway production.

            Sure, there are props and set dressing which can be rented or bought. Still, in the cases cited that did not happen.

      • On the commentary for “Guy” (iirc), Weiner doesn’t say anything about Deere (which suggests a placement to me, esp in light of Cosgrove’s safety spiel), but (again, iirc) makes clear the Dr. Pepper thing was driven by the availability of the period machine.

  2. Talk about product placement, how else could anyone explain the nonsense written about George Romney by Alec MacGillis and Timothy Noah?

    At no time following George Romney walking out of the 1964 GOP Convention was he in good graces with the RNC. When he was re-elected Governor of Michigan following his insult of Barry Goldwater and the Republican Party, political writes ranging from right to far left were gobsmacked.

    “Leading candidate” as stated by MacGillis? Only in fever dreams of Tagg Romney.

    Looking on the bright side for George’s son Mitt, the remark by “Henry Francis” to another political operative in “Tea Leaves” gave Mitt’s people a chance to play the sympathy card.

    As we said here since 1 April, in July 1966 “clown” would be the nicest thing any mainstream Republican operative would have said about George Romney.

    • I agree that MacGillis (particularly) and Noah underplay the generally negative attitude toward Romney within GOP circles in Summer ’66. However, it’s not unfair to say he was considered a leading candidate. As Noah notes at the NYT, a 1966 Harris poll had Romney leading the Republican field and defeating Johnson 54-46, though this was not to last.

      • Karl, in 1966 Harris was one of many vendors doing public opinion research for my studio.

        Everyone in the market research game was shocked when that Harris poll about George Romney was released. Right now I am shocked the editors of the NYT ran the article by Noah as it appeared.

        Perhaps it is like Newsweek with only a single writer still working for them who was on staff in 1966. Reading morgue clippings for the first time recently is different than re-reading them to refresh your own memories from the time.

        • The fact that you were shocked by the Harris poll at the time does not negate its existence. Of course, it’s possible the Harris poll was an outlier, confidence levels not being 100%. But it’s also possible that how G Romney was viewed in GOP circles in ’66 (and my Dad shares your recollection of it) will not always be perfectly reflected in the polls at any given time.

          Mitt Romney would be good modern example of this. Polls showed he was and is not beloved by the grassroots. Much of the GOP establishment isn’t too keen on him either (which is why there was the behind-the-scenes push for Daniels, Barbour, and Christie — and donors like the Mosbachers kept their wallets closed until last Fall). A lot of today’s Henry Francis types likely think poorly of him. But he’ll likely end up with the nomination George never got, most likely with the votes of Republicans who don’t focus on politics as either the activists or the Francis types who try to run the invisible primary. The ’66 Harris poll may have captured something similar at a time when people weren’t yet focused on ’68.

          • Karl, since I am not sure how much university level training you have in the field of conducting market research this might not be the best way to exchange information. You have my private e-mail and are welcome to use it.

            In the period from late 1956 to early 1968 as I said previously Harris was one of our polling vendors. Increasingly a team of scientists under my direction became alarmed about the accuracy of the Harris data, especially in the Michigan area. Of course we were interested in data useful to our marketing decisions about movies. Only after I learned about the George Romney positive poll results from a former classmate in prep school who held a position similar to mine at the RNC did I suggest to my highest management level we suspend Harris from our vendor list.

            Clearly you have an entirely different experience validating data from Harris back in those days.

            Bottom line is that enough top level Republican operatives did not trust George Romney and really disliked him. So it is well within reason that someone like Henry Francis on the John Lindsay payroll would have called George Romney a clown.

            At this time there is no way for Tagg or Mitt Romney to bring any sort of legal action against MW based on using that line.

          • I have a degree in political science and studied political polling, which included conducting original research on historical ANES data. I’m saying that — quite apart from problems you may have had with Harris — the standard confidence level of 95% means that there is always a chance the poll will be incorrect. There was much less political polling in 1966 than today, which means there is generally less data from which one might judge whether a poll is an outlier (Noah may or may not understand this). And without current access to the Harris data, it’s impossible for me to examine the sample, question wording, question order, etc.

            On the other hand, I am also suggesting that we should always be careful about generalizing our personal experience, lest we fall into the Pauline Kael trap of being baffled in ’72 because know one she knew voted for Nixon (which is more a paraphrase than quote, but instructive nevertheless). The fact that Republicans following politics in ’66 may have thought Romney was a clown does not necessarily translate entirely to a general public not following politics as closely. It appears Romney was ahead in the Gallup poll in November 1966 also. The main answer there is that the sample was not limited to Republicans. Perhaps this was the issue with Harris as well.

            But we’re in agreement on the main show-related point: Henry Francis could easily have believed George Romney to be a clown, even though Henry’s working for Lindsay. In fact, Henry might have been more inclined than others (e.g., the Goldwater-Reagan types who also had little use for Romney) to call Romney a clown. Some of the nastiest fights go on over the smaller differences.

          • Karl, obviously both of us have strong professional qualifications to direct and interpret market research polls.

            The basic problem my studio found with Harris was the way certain questions were asked in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. It might have been an accent issue with a few phone bank folks. We felt, upon listening to recordings of the raw conversations, that those folks were suggesting answers they thought we wanted. Upon discussion with my contacts at RNC they suspected those same Harris folks.

            Never in all my years with that studio did we have any other such wide-spread problems with any other polling vendor.

            So, Karl, can we stipulate that Matt Weiner had good research backing Henry Francis calling George Romney a clown. I am also willing to stipulate that outside the RNC, George Romney was far more popular than the conservative GOP wanted to admit.

          • I wish I could say I was surprised by your issues with Harris… but I’m not, really. I know someone who worked for Gallup years ago (though not in ’66) who has stories as well, sadly (and ironically, in light of the current house effect of their tracking poll). Unfortunately, IVR robo-polling has its own issues. At least the sheer volume of polling today helps highlight potential issues with various polls.

  3. Perhaps both of the articles about Jessica Paré by Canadian writers will put to rest claims that she is not a Montreal native and/or does not speak appropriate Canadian French.

    Sure, it was cute during an American interview following “A Little Kiss” that Paré modestly claimed to be nervous singing and dancing. I mean, when she was a teenager she was an excellent dancer who could really sing.

    Then following “Tea Leaves” during an American interview Paré modestly admitted she felt she had lost her French during the last 8 years while she lived in Hollywood. Sure she might have lost a tad of her French, but since she began doing interviews following Tomorrowland in English with some French, in Parisian French and Quebecois none of the usual guardians of French have complained.

    Funny thing is most of the remarks critical of the way Jessica Paré speaks various forms of French on Mad Men are posted on-line by the usual suspect who want Don to return to Betty. By the way, none of which critics have demonstrated a significant knowledge of French.

    • I am a French Canadian and a native Montrealer. Jessica speaks with a French accent on the show and it annoys me. Nobody speaks like her, unless the are an immigrant from France. Madmen is such a wonderful show and I am amazed at how much effort they put into details. However, they fail here. It does not sound believable that she is from here. I understand that most viewers are anglophones and can’t pick up on it, but it is different for us. I enjoy her acting so I forgive her, but it does not ring true. The funny thing is, that the only time she sounded French Canadian, was when she said “Caliss” when Roger and Jane ruined the birthday surprise…I laughed about it because it seems that she sounds like a Quebecoise only when she swears.

      Jessica was a guest on a Quebec talk show last fall. She had problems speaking in French. But she was lovely.

      • @Sandrine M

        In Mad Men the character of Megan Calvet has a father who is a native of Montreal and a mother who grew up in Paris. At the end of Season 4 during episode 413 “Tomorrowland” Megan tells Don that she spoke to her mother over the phone to break the news about her engagement in Parisian French because that is the form of French her mother prefers.

        You are entitled to want her to use the form of Canadian French that you prefer. However, before you attack the abilities of Jessica Paré as an actress you need to understand that every aspect of her performance is based on a script re-written by series creator Matt Weiner. Many of his writing staff are fluent in various forms of French. At least one is Canadian.

        We can speculate why a creative decision was made to have a character described as being a native of Montreal use Parisian French for longer monologues. My guess is that all over the world a larger percentage of the audience understands Parisian French than Quebecois. France is an important market for Mad Men, as is Canada as a whole.

        When I was a major movie studio executive we always had to find an agreement on the translation of American English sound track for Canada. As you know it is a legal requirement that a Canadian French version of every English language be available day and date for release in Canada. Using the Parisian French sound track did not meet the requirements of Canada. The commercial decision had to be finding a compromise of all the forms of Canadian French. At my studio although we respected those who only care to hear Quebecois it was not financially practical to prepare a second sound track in that language. What might shock you is that our generic French Canadian version dis very good business in Montreal. Chances are the studio producing Mad Men, LionsGate, has done the same research. They are a Canadian company.

        Recently in interviews Jessica Paré has stated that during the 8 years she has lived in the Hollywood, CA area performing in movies and TV series primarily in American English, she feels she has lost some of the abilities to speak French. Obviously you agree.

        And yet, you must still watch Mad men and care enough to take the time to participate in Mad Men websites.

        • In Mad Men the character of Megan Calvet has a father who is a native of Montreal and a mother who grew up in Paris. At the end of Season 4 during episode 413 “Tomorrowland” Megan tells Don that she spoke to her mother over the phone to break the news about her engagement in Parisian French because that is the form of French her mother prefers.

          That never happened. She calls her mother and speaks French. Don asks if she wants him to speak to her mother and she replies “Do you speak French?” There is no discussion of Canadian versus Parisian French.

          Your defense of Jessica Pare is sweet but please don’t accuse other Basketcases of “attack.” It is possible to criticize or even complain without attacking. There is no need to make it combative.

      • Accents are universally not a priority on Mad Men, as we’ve discussed several times. Betty does not sound like she’s from the Main Line. Peggy does not sound like she’s from Brooklyn. Don does not drop his gs as Roger claims he does.

  4. Karl, that photo of the bowling team made my day.

    Weird Al! Hah! 🙂

  5. Although the recent article about Jessica Paré with an interview of her and also of Matt Weiner about her, by Johanna Schneller for “The Globe and Mail of Montreal” is currently in the BoK News thing, so I believe it fair game for discussion.

    Folks, this is only the most recent of many Jessica Paré articles published in Canada and specifically in Montreal. Here and on other Mad Men specific websites some comment that Paré does not use what those commentators consider a correct French Canadian accent, or that “Megan” is only faking being a native of Montreal because her American English is so refined.

    Well, so what!

    Never do any of the Canadian writers who use various forms of French Canadian find any fault. Nor do they find fault with her singing.

    Are we ever going to reach a stipulation that Jessica Paré is a native of and grew up in Montreal, with a father who is a department head at McGill University (and a native of Montreal) and a mother who is a leading conference translator (and a native of Paris). Jessica mother apparently prefers to use Parisian French at home instead of Quebecois, so Jessica speaks those in addition to English.

    We must accept the evidence in the Mad Men episodes shown so far. They say that Megan is a native of Montreal. She spoke to her mother by phone twice in Parisian French, which was explained in the script.

    Of course this being Mad Men only Matt Weiner and his staff know if in subsequent episodes Megan will turn into some sort of duplicitous sleeper agent. Or not, given how that sort of plot line killed Pan Am so soon.

    • I wasn’t aware that people are objecting to Jessica Paré being French Canadian or from Montreal – it’s not happening to any major degree on this site nor the others that I read (Alan Sepinwall, AV Studio) nor the real papers I read (including LA Times, NY Times), but I’ll take your word for it that it’s happening elsewhere. Short version: yes, it’s stipulated. Let’s move on.

      I suppose you’re probably aware by the quotes around “The Globe and Mail of Montreal” that the Globe and Mail is actually published in Toronto, but is (justly) considered, or at least considers itself, Canada’s national newspaper and covers the whole country pretty well.

      As a native, if anglophone, Montrealer, I’m very pleased to see Montreal suddenly turn up in MM in Megan’s person. Very, very credible. (I’m just listening to Paré explain that there’s a Canadian scriptwriter on the show, and another of the main writers/producers spent a lot of time in Montreal.) As I also lived through these times (the 60s), I’m looking forward to more. I hope they go visit Expo ’67, though I don’t expect them to actually recreate it for us…

      • Oooh, I remember Expo ’67. Roberta is too young to remember, I think, but she was there too.

        • We were there too. Very cool. So European compared to the ’64 Worlds Fair in Queens.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.