Matthew Weiner on his expired 'Mad Men' contract: 'I am not looking for a new job' -- EXCLUSIVE

mad_men_320.jpg Image Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC Fans already know that AMC has promised them a fifth season of Mad Men, but will its brilliant creator Matthew Weiner come back, as well? The Emmy-winning scribe told EW exclusively that his new deal has yet to be finalized but he’s “not looking for a new job.”  The show’s future is vague because AMC is still negotiating with both Weiner and Lionsgate, which produces the hit drama starring Jon Hamm.

“I think all of AMC’s decisions about their scheduling and so forth have nothing to do with me, and I don’t have a deal yet,” Weiner told EW, while walking the red carpet for the Producers Guild of America Awards Saturday. “I have every intention of making the show when they decide to work out their business with Lionsgate.  I can’t wait to come back to work. I have said over and over in public that I want the show to go on and on and on until it has worn out its welcome with viewers and we can’t think of anything more for the characters to do.

“I am not looking for a new job. I’m dying to go back to work,” Weiner continued. “But the truth is I don’t even know what their plans are. We have not started writing. I am not back at work. My contract expired.  They are fighting over a very lucrative property, and who is going to pay for it to get made; it’s one of the biggest perils of success — everyone wants a piece of it now and they are fighting over who is gonna get the biggest chunk. Then they will come to me because talent is last. It would be heartbreaking for me if they don’t work it out, horrifying really. It would be a shame for fans to never get to see what great stuff we have planned for Don and company.”
Mad Men won the Norman Felton award for best drama series at the Producers Guild Awards, beating Breaking Bad, Dexter, Lost and True Blood.  – With reporting from Carrie Bell

Comments (55 total) Add your comment
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  • Brad

    I’m impressed that someone in the TV business went out of their way to let their fans know that they are being loyal to the show and informing the public of what is going on.

    • Private

      That may be part of it, but it also sounds like a negotation tactic. “I want to work but no one wants to pay me, the underappreciated artist.”

      • ducdebrabant

        They’re not even negotiating his contract yet, so they’ve made no offer. How can he even be alluding to what they want to pay him? Stop projecting.

      • Private

        Replying to myself, since EW won’t let me reply to ducdebrabant’s comment below.

        Stop being naive. Everything’s a negotiation.

    • Tom

      Good. Nobody watched that show that much anyways.. There are lots of people eager in hollywood for work.

      • ducdebrabant

        All the SMART people watch it.

      • GoddessLu

        Plenty of people watch it Tom, just not you apparently. Losing the series creator would be detrimental to the quality of the show. Go back to watching Wipeout.

  • jfms777

    Does this sound a bit desperate? Just

    • Sebastian

      It’s actually a fairly smart PR move on his part. Instead of coming across as a money-demanding diva (whether this is true or not), Weiner has already put the burden of blame on the network. If the negotiations fell through, AMC would take the biggest hit: they would look like greedy douchebags who weren’t able to ‘play nice’.

      • emily

        actually that bad acted and written show The Walking Dead is there top rated show.

    • td

      No, it doesn’t sound desperate at all.

    • Ralph

      No, there’s nothing desperate about it.

    • ducdebrabant

      No, it does not. It could hardly sound more serene, in fact.

  • Angela

    The speculation is a bunch of hooey. Mad Men has made AMC the hot property that it is and it would tank without Wiener, the brainchild of the enterprise. They will work things out because they’d be idiots not to.

    • paul

      And GREED never made folks in corporate America act like idiots???

    • SirLizard

      Angela, FYI, a “brainchild” is an idea or creation, not the person who comes up with the idea or creation. I agree with you that it would be wrong for AMC to try to do the series without its creator, but there is a LONG list of series creators who have been pushed off of their own productions because of money. I hate when people’s creations are wrested from them because viewers are then never able to see the completion of the creators’ original visions.

      • ducdebrabant

        The show is so distinctive that I really think Weiner is indispensable to it, and although the ratings aren’t enormous, the show is profitable, and it gives AMC enormous prestige and credibility when they try and make a deal with others like Weiner for new properties. I’m sure they’ll all reach an agreement.

      • angela

        Thanks for correcting me. I love it when smart people like to show other people just how smart they are. Cheers.

      • thin

        Use your words right and nobody will have an opportunity to.

      • Brad

        No, Angela is correct. The word brainchild refers to the individual behind the idea or project. Those of you arguing otherwise should keep your imperious tones in check because you make yourselves sound really ignorant when you’re wrong and you throw your “knowledge” in others’ faces. LOL.

      • Ana

        Actually Brad, both you and Angela are incorrect and SirLizard is right. I recommend in the future that you try Googling before calling someone else ignorant.

      • wordnerd

        Sorry, Brad, but you and Angela are both wrong. Brainchild = child of one’s brain = idea/creation. Look something up before you go defending an incorrect statement.

    • Brad

      Wordnerd, your name is a complete misnomer, but it’s cute that you gave it to yourself in a really sad, pathetic way.

      • wordnerd

        Brad, it’s even cuter how you resort to off-topic attacks when you’ve been proven wrong and don’t want to admit it!

        (Also, I have a degree in linguistics, so I think that my username is perfectly apt.)

  • Dumbledore Fluffernutter

    If this does’t get made for AMC, no doubt it will find a home elsewhere. I’m not worried.

    • SirLizard

      I guess you don’t know much about the TV business. Besides, AMC already plans to bring the series back. The only thing in doubt is whether they’ll pay Weiner what he wants and deserves.

    • Private

      Except that AMC basically owns the show and can choose to continue it or not. They can hold onto it forever and never allow it to continue or to air elsewhere.

      • ducdebrabant

        No they don’t. Lionsgate does. They may have clauses that make it difficult for Lionsgate to take it somewhere else, but they can’t just continue it without Lionsgate. The Weinstein Company took Project Runway to Lifetime when Bravo wouldn’t give them the deal they wanted.

      • Private

        Again, replying to ducdebrabant because I can’t reply directly: That’s why I said “basically” owns the show. The Weinstein situation could have gone the other way with a different judge in the legal proceedings, and PR could have been left in limbo forever. Just because it didn’t work out that way doesn’t mean it couldn’t have.

  • Justin

    I’m slightly worried. This is usually a summer show and I’m disappointed it wont be back until later. This is the best show on TV. They need to get their shit together.

  • Jim

    This is a soap opera that relies on a very loyal base of fans. If the hiatus between seasons lasts too long, the fans will move on. Then, AMC and the producers will be fighting over nothing. Similar greed killed the Sopranos.

    • John

      I totally agree, Jim. I do blame a lot of the loss in fan base to the increased hiatus between seasons, however I also think the scripting quality fell off dramatically after the 1st season (Sopranos). They’re already making us wait too long between seasons for Madmen and their seasons are too short to begin with. I hope it survives

    • ducdebrabant

      I think Lionsgate and Weiner are in a much better negotiating position than if Rubicon (a wonderful show, by the way) hadn’t flopped.

  • legallyblonde

    Just don’t take away Breaking Bad.

  • GGG

    There is no way this show is as good as it is, without Weiner’s fingerprint.

  • Jonee

    Writers always get the shaft.

  • Sherron

    I love this show, but it off more than it is on.. What is with that? It is getting to where you see three new shows and the rest are reruns?

    • ducdebrabant

      I’m not sure what you mean. When the show is running, it’s running a new show every week. The season isn’t long, but it’s very well-structured and paced and self-contained. And every new season, the plot has moved on in ways that re-introduce the show to us, and us to a new era. Don is about to marry again (and I’m not optimistic about that). No way I’ve forgotten about these characters.

  • Neil

    Can they not sign this guy to a long term contract? Why do they go through this with him every year?

    • ducdebrabant

      They can’t sign him to anything he doesn’t want to sign. Maybe he feels a long-term contract isn’t in his interest. On the other hand, maybe they think the same, and don’t want to have to pay him for three years beyond whatever year they cancel the show.

      • thin

        Yeah, I get the distinct impression that he would happily sign a longer contract if one were offered, but he can’t sign something that isn’t on the table.

  • Steve Gennarelli

    It’s the Best TV show since “The Sopranos”, in my opinion.
    Hopefully then can land both Weiner and Hamm to multi-year contracts so the show could finish out around 1970 or so.
    With Hamm likely getting more and more movie scripts after “The Town”, it may be hard to lock him in. But hopefully just the quality of “Mad Men” may entice him to stick around for awhile.

  • DJ

    I get on here everyday and I watch you people attack each other like children. I mean if you don”t like Mad Men why are you even commenting on this article? To provoke?

  • Ashley

    I don’t care who gets paid what and when. As long as this show comes back with all the same actors, writers, and creator. It is perfect. I would be completely shocked if it did not. This is all PR. And Jon Hamm doesn’t seem like the type of actor to turn his back on a role like DD for a shot at movie success, IMO.

  • ShockPoP08

    The show is great. Everyone knows that and I believe Weiner truely wants to get back to it. This show is to fascinating not to continue. Everything will work out in the end.

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