Basket of News, Apr. 12-18, 2014

 Posted by on April 18, 2014 at 9:00 am  Media-Web-News
Apr 182014

The Season 7 premiere of Mad Men had its lowest premiere ratings since 2008.  Sounds bad, right?  But looking at the premiere numbers for past seasons, particularly the large jump between Seasons 4 and 5, one might hypothesize that the two-hour “event” premieres in Seasons 5 and 6 might have had inflated numbers relative to a standard one-hour premiere.  Indeed, the two-hour premiere of Season 5 — the show’s highest-rated premiere– scored a cumulative 4.4 million viewers for the 9 and 11 p.m. showings.  The one-hour Season 7 premiere–which at shorter length could manage two repeats–scored… 4.4 million cumulative viewers.  Obviously, the amount of overlap from repeat viewers is unknown, but that’s sort of the point.  Throw in the increasing trend of delayed, on-demand viewing, and it seems like people are comparing apples and oranges.

Now that Mad Men is bi-coastal, it takes both Gothamist and LAist to unpack the cultural references in “Time Zones.”

Matthew Weiner talks to THR about the show’s relationship to historical events.  He talks to Variety about pacing the first half of S7 and the mood in the writers’ room.

Joel Murray talks to The Wire about Freddie’s return, and his time on the show.  He also talks to Vulture.

Elisabeth Moss talks about her pride in Peggy’s accomplishments and why she believes Peggy is a better boss than Don.  She also talks to Rolling Stone about who Peggy would be in today’s TV world.

Jon Hamm talks to Vulture about the (revived) Megan Draper/Sharon Tate theory.  He talks to Rolling Stone more about Don.

And speaking of crazy Mad Men theories…Ali Arikan has a doozy about how the show will end.  This may be the must-read for the week.

Neve Campbell talked to Vulture, The Daily Beast and Entertainment Weekly about taking a plane ride with Don Draper and Jon Hamm.

Vincent Kartheiser talked to Rolling Stone about the beginning of the end.

John Slattery‘s feature-length directorial debut, God’s Pocket — starring the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman — has dropped its first trailer. [It also features Christina Hendricks as Hoffman’s wife -D]

Matt, Jon and Elisabeth talk about the Don/Peggy relationship with USA Today.

Rich Sommer talks to Today about Harry Crane and setting people’s jaws on edge.

TIME interviewed Allison Mann, Mad Men’s head of research, and Erin Levy, writer and supervising producer, about getting the period details right.

BuzzFeed finds out Theresa Rivers does a lot of research and has a lot of thoughts about hair on the show.

Janie Bryant tells The Telegraph about how she became a costume designer….and her first job in NYC.

The HuffPost thinks Mad Men should be paying more attention to Joan. [This is a truism -K]

Christina Hendricks talks to Health about her DIY approach to life.

Tom & Lorenzo pick Mad Men‘s most iconic looks.  They also speculate about the looks to come.

Kerry Washington talks about the Scandal season finale and teases the next one.

Emily Kinney does a NYLON photoshoot and talks about life since The Walking Dead.  She’s also interviewed by American Songwriter.

Danai Gurira teases Season 5 of The Walking Dead at Access Hollywood.

Robert Kirkman thinks Negan will eventually transfer from the graphic novel to TWD — but won’t be played by Jon Hamm.

Bryan Cranston‘s LBJ is bringing Washington’s movers and shakers to Broadway.

Don-O-Mite! The NSFW Blaxploitation version of Mad Men. (via SuziQue)

Abigail Spencer gets hit with a Mad Men reference on Suits. (h/t Nicolas)

Basket of News is compiled by Deborah and Karl — and Basketcases like you.


  12 Responses to “Basket of News, Apr. 12-18, 2014”

  1. I had the thrill of seeing Bryan Cranston in All the Way Tuesday night. He was mesmerizing. What a tour de force– definitely a candidate for a Tony nomination. It really demonstrates his versatility as an actor in a physically demanding role.

    If there’s any way you can “make it there,” do so!

  2. So are those of us Basketcases who comment on research blunders associated with Mad Men the ones mentioned so smugly by Allison Mann and Erin Levy?

    Gosh, maybe what Man Men needs is to have hired a language researcher who was a working adult during the time of a given season. Reading newspapers of the period only shows what the editors of the publication though was current. In the real world how often do people speak the way they do when potentially being quoted by The New York Times or The New Yorker?

    Of course we also must accept Mad Men Logic. Face it when you sit five linguists around a table you get five different opinions; six if one of them is a Harvard graduate!

    Bottom line is Matt Weiner is creating entertainment, not making a history lesson. It is like arguments about the way Megan and her parents speak French. In Quebec people speak in so many ways and the same person can speak differently depending on the situation. But this is entertainment, so in show business almost always accuracy gives way to a popular conception of reality.

    I have no doubt both Allison Mann and Erin Levy are intelligent, well-educated professionals. So I personally look forward to seeing their future projects and research. As an old hand being paid well to pick nits in show business we were taught to keep our lips shut about research, since we all knew the budget would seldom allow us to be totally correct and that ‘when the legend is better than reality, film the legend’.

    Okay, so it would be fascinating to be told who did the research which placed the can of Folgers’ coffee in the SC & P kitchen in the Time-Life Building in January 1969 several years before P&G distributed that brand on the East Coast. Neither Ms Mann nor Levy addressed the issue. Nor did they take credit for introducing all the ‘comedy’ columns into the clear-span Time-Life Building. See, the rule is that a visual gag trumps being a slave to facts.

    Obviously Matt Weiner and his staff is doing it right because after all these years we are still watching each episode many times and writing about those episodes.

    • I didn’t find the interview smug at all. Mann and Levy praised the viewers as intelligent, and said the “nitpicking” evidenced the level of commitment that the audience has.

    • I suppose they use the OED as one of their references (“these words are actually extremely old — a lot of it comes from Shakespeare”). They could readily use the set that dressed Lane Pryce’s office.

      • The one that Roger asked if Lane ever gets “three sheets to the wind” and wears it?

    • I commented about this in another BOK post regarding the first episode, but I guess I’ll try again.

      Not certain where this idea that Folger’s coffee was not sold on the East Coast until the mid 70’s comes from. I cannot speak to New York City, but I lived on the East Coast in the mid-sixties and it was sold in Virginia. Also, I seem to recall it being available for my parents when we lived in Rhode Island in 1966. Mrs. Olsen commercials were all over television, particularly the P&G soap operas my mother watched religiously.

      Just to confirm that I was not having a “senior moment”, I checked the Folger’s website. It states that Proctor and Gamble bought the brand in 1963 and began national distribution of it.

      • I remember Folgers in our house, too, in the greater Boston area. It had to be the ’60’s, my early childhood, because we still had a percolator. So we had big cans of Folgers along with that god-awful Maxwell house instant later on. So where did my parents get it from then, if not the supermarket? Some guy in a van going “psst. Ay. Folgah’s heah. Ya know ya wan it.” Possible!

      • I must say, I consider the quintessential New York coffee brand to be Chock Full o’ Nuts, but I don’t see anything jarring about Folgers.

        • I didn’t know Chock Full o’ Nuts was a brand of coffee. I’m always seeing that store in movies shot in New York.

  3. Darby Stanchfield went to my college (the University of Puget Sound, in Tacoma, WA) and is speaking there on Monday. Here’s a profile from the Tacoma News Tribune:

  4. Kid, we’re gonna make you a star! Well, an extra anyway …

    The prequel to Breaking Bad, “Better Call Saul,” is expected to shoot in Albuquerque and the New Mexico extras and background Casting Company is now casting for the show’s extras.

    This link has the details …

  5. It’s coincidental (or perhaps not) that the rating dropped, for the most part, just after the S5, E1 premiere, because that’s when Mad Men sort of jumped the shark for me personally and for people I know IRL who were previously huge fans. S5, E1 was Megan’s Zou Bisou Bisou performance that situated Pare as one of Weiner’s main stars of the show. Although I’m sure she’s a nice person, her acting really takes me out of all the scenes that she’s in, creating a dissonance that makes me feel at times that I’m watching two different shows at once. Unfortunately for me, it’s resulted in much less excitement for MM than I felt during the first four seasons. It’s sad, too, because it used to be my absolute favorite show and no longer is. I know it seems strange that one actor can effect such a profound change, but there’s no other reason for my dwindling enthusiasm. I always want her scenes to be over with quickly, and it ends up ruining each episode for me.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.