'Mad Men' is a done deal! AMC drama is renewed with Matthew Weiner on board

Mad-Men

Image Credit: AMC

Don Draper might make it to the 1970s after all. After a protracted standoff, AMC, Lionsgate and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have reached an agreement for seasons five and six of the Emmy-winning drama.

Weiner, who will return as showrunner, has also signed a new long-term deal with Lionsgate. As a result of the negotiations, however, season five isn’t expected to air until March of next year.

Weiner signed a deal that’s worth about $10 million per year. The creator  compromised slightly on issue of the show’s running time, agreeing to the show running two minutes shorter in all epiosdes (45 minutes) when on AMC except the fifth season’s premiere and finale (47) — with an option for Weiner to turn in 47-minute episodes for other platforms like VOD and DVD. The main cast is signed on for two more season and no more cuts are expected there.

The deal was originally supposed to be for three seasons, but the cast isn’t yet signed for a seventh season so that’s being tabled for the time being. But everybody thinks that now that Weiner is on board, a seventh season will happen. Weiner is also telling media outlets that the seventh season will be the final one for the show.

“I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support,” Weiner said in a statement. “I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning. I’m excited to get started on the next chapter of our story.”

“AMC’s original programming began with a mission to create bold storytelling of the highest quality, and Mad Men was the perfect expression of that commitment,” Charlie Collier, president of AMC, said in a statement. “We’ve been proud to support this show from the day we read Matt’s ground-breaking pilot script and have loved building it with Matt and Lionsgate into the cultural phenomenon it has become. For everyone involved in the show and its passionate fans, we are thrilled to announce that the series will continue on AMC under the exceptional vision of Matt Weiner.”

Comments (87 total) Add your comment
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  • talkin’

    ok. Good. Film, already.

    • TopherGracesucks

      I heard once hey agreed Topher Grace would never appear on the show it was a done deal

      • MadMenFan

        What?

      • Joe G

        I heard the same thing. It was the lone sticking point. He is just awful.

  • JC

    Still don’t understand why they can’t get it out this fall? Isn’t “Walking Dead” already filming? Put WD this summer and get Mad Men in for a later October/early November premiere!

    • Dwigt

      The scripts are simply not existing. Without any contract, Weiner had simply no reason to write anything with his staff that could have been used for a season 5 that he wouldn’t have supervised. He may have ideas or directions for next season but there are 13 scripts to write, a schedule for the cast to be prepared. You just can’t ask everybody to be back on board in a couple of weeks.

      • MysterWright

        Well in a sense that’s a really smart idea. If he was under any contract to write those shows this season it’d be different or any of his staff were compliant with AMC then he’d have strong reason to be concerned. Look at what happened already to one of the actors after a gay-themed episode. He got fired without seemingly any rhyme or reason. The studio network might have thought up some half-witted idea to think Matt a dummy and write the episodes then they could just replace the showrunner like thanks sucker now go see the unemployment office. The bosses would be like we didn’t approve that, who did? It was your son, chief. You gave him his job to keep him out of trouble? Guess whose head in that case it would’ve been between the showrunner and the boss’ kid. it happens more often than people think.

      • MysterWright

        (How do you know?) Its the same plot theme every soap opera on the planet builds themselves around!

    • Sean

      Please God, no Mad Men during AMC’s Fear Fest. Let October belong to Walking Dead and Horror Films.

    • D

      I think I also read something about amc having so many new projects in the pipeline that there just isn’t room on their Sunday night schedule until January.

      • Joe G

        I thought I read that walking dead and breaking bad could be airing back to back this summer. I’m sure we won’t get tat lucky.

  • commentor

    PHEW! I kind of don’t want them to go past season 6. Series don’t need to last forever. 7 seasons, MAX.

    I guess we don’t have to worry about cast cuts? Absurd product placement? Shortening episodes? Nothing mentioned of that.

    • Cheery

      Exactly, and didn’t Weiner originally say the show would last only 6 seasons? So what’s with negotiating a contract for 3 more years? They should get out while they’re still ahead.

      • ?

        They didn’t negotiate for 3 years, only 2. Seasons 5 and 6, says it plain as day in the article. The actors’ contracts only run through season 6. I’m not betting on a season 7 at this point.

    • dinana

      It says “cut two minutes out of each episode”…that sucks.

    • commentor

      yeah, they updated the article. the details of the deal have been added.

    • Josh

      reg. Product placement – I found this part of the Weiner deal perplexing. Isn’t the show about Ad Men? Ergo Doesn’t EVERY episode contain product placement?

      • commentor

        sure. i think the concern was that it was not going to be organic, or more central when it shouldn’t be.

    • anne

      Mad Men’s seasons are only 13 episodes long–easier to keep fresh than when you have to grind out 22 to 26.

      • Maureen

        I feel sorry for the young people here who don’t remember when we used to get 30 great episodes of a show every season and with much fewer commercials. they kept one writing staff without changing them to keep things fluid. Those were really the Golden Age of TV as it is called now. You all missed out.

      • John

        Are you kidding? The quality of television was terrible back then and stories were even more repetitive back then. 13-18 eps a season is the ideal length to tell a cohesive and non-repetitive story

  • tracy bluth

    Well thank God (though I would really like the season to start right now…).

  • Michael R.

    Woot!!! Does this mean he still has to cut characters?? If two have to go in Season 5 I think it will be Harry (sad since he’s my favorite) and Betty.

    As for a series ending, I don’t see it going into the 70′s. Season 7 being 1969 and the finale being the moon landing. Something with Don staring out at the moon with a glass of Whiskey while the kids and Megan (maybe?) watch on television. Just my opinion

    • commentor

      nice. i like that. i also don’t see the show making to the 70s, and kind of want to see it end in the 60s.

    • Susan

      …and Sally goes off to Woodstock

      • charlotte

        Or District 12 . . .

    • kate

      Matt Weiner said once that “Don Draper will never be in a leisure suit.” So I think that nixes the whole ’70s thing.

      • Maureen

        not everyone wore leisure suits, especially in nyc or to professional jobs, they were more a casual look for weekends. I don’t know anyone that wore them to be honest. Not on either coast anyway.

      • Rustinnnnnn

        Matt Weiner also said once, in an interview, that he would like to see at least Don & Betty in the 70′s. Since last season concluded in ’65 and now that there will be a year and a half between Season 4 & 5 I think it’s reasonable to assume that Season 5 could start sometime in the late 60′s, if not for any other reason than to accommodate for Sally, Bobby & Baby Gene growing during a year and a half off. Add in a seventh season and you have the 70′s. It’s entirely plausible.

    • SoyBombGuy

      I bit too “on the nose” and easy, and cliche-contemplative, I think… but that’s just my opinion (which has little market value)

    • Laura

      I like the moon thing,too. Yes, but what about axing two characters a season?!? Again, couldn’t Weiner fork over some of that big cash he just got to save some actors? More info please EW!

    • anne

      Nice image.

    • Ronnie

      I too like the idea of ending before the 70s. However,3 seasons more and you still expect Don to be with Megan? You’ve not been paying much attention to the character of Don Draper.

      • Michael R.

        Hence the (maybe?)

  • Shannon

    Next year? CRAP!

  • Eddiehaskell

    I know I hate that I have to wait till next year, but I hope I still get the quality that I will still love.

    • joey

      I hope so Eddie. And I think we will if its not rushed.

    • Ponco

      NBA released the 2010-11 ehscdule this week.a0 The Blazers get 20 national TV games.a0 That means the NBA and the networks think we’ll be pretty good.a0 That makes me glad.a0 It

  • Earl

    I heard they didn’t start negotiating with Weiner until 3 weeks ago and now they’re blaming delay on him?! Give me a break. Thank God he stuck up for integrity of show and cast. I can’t wait to see its return.

    • Somendra

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  • Jill

    Glad to hear so. I don’t care if it’s in 2012. I just hope they don’t have to cut down the # of actors.

  • chillydogs

    What is wrong with AMC?
    Breaking Bad = never on
    Mad Men = never on
    Walking Dead = never on
    Why not set up your programming so that one of your top shows is always running new episodes?

    Maybe I’ll be interested when they finally come back; maybe not.

    • Joe G

      You make a great point. However, thank God for amc. They currently have three of the top five dramas on tv. True Blood and Dexter being the others.

    • Ally

      I Know! March NEXT YEAR?? And i was just wondering what happened to Breaking Bad- I feel like it hasn’t been on in forever.

    • Maryann

      Felt good this afternoon so I did the Strength & citiondoning WOD. Did the Gymnastics WOD for strength. 100 Reps Push-Ups- 3 rec. 1:52 min. 100 V-Ups- 5 rec. 3:27 min. 3 seconds x 8 recoveries L-Hang- 24 seconds. Circuit- 55lb. KB Swings- 45repsBox Jumps- 68reps, 55lb. KB Push-Press(did this Goblet Style)47reps, Row- 60cals. This was toughest WOD in a while. Glad I tried it.

  • T Garcea

    Great show. I think it would be hilarious if Draper and Jim Morrison crossed paths. This could be done after the famed “Young Lion” photograph of Jim Morrison was taken by Joel Brodsky. This photo shoot produced the most widely used photo of The Doors collection. It would be cool if Don walks into some dark New York bar. Have Jim already sitting there pounding away booze. Make it so Don never realizes who he is, until a day… scriptwriters dream!

    • David

      It’s Mad Men. Not Forrest Gump.

  • batman

    I don’t believe it takes a whole year to write some scripts and start filming. Six months, perhaps. But a year?? Come on!

    • Maureen

      Other actors may have commitments now because they had no idea when the show would start. They have to reserve studio time and get the crew together, then there is editing etc after it is filmed.

  • Dean

    What about the network wanting to get rid of two cast members each year? Where does that issue stands? Do we know?

  • tvwatcher

    TVline says “AMC had asked Weiner for three concessions: more integrated product placement, the shaving of two minutes off each episode to allow added commercial time, and the cutting of two series regular cast members.

    First and foremost, there will be no cast cuts, Deadline reports. As for running time, the Season 5 premiere and finale will remain 47 minutes in length, while Weiner has the option to submit two cuts of the other 11 episodes — a 45-minute edit for broadcast, and a 47-minute version for other platforms (e.g. VOD). Product placement will be accommodated when organic to storyline and under Weiner’s complete creative control.”
    So, better scoop is over there.

  • Rita

    ““I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning. I’m excited to get started on the next chapter of our story.”
    -
    -
    Referring to yourself as ‘myself’ is really bad grammar, made even worse by referring to yourself before the others you are mentioning. This is third grade grammar. The person who came up with that quote for Weiner needs a crash course in writing.

    • Maureen

      He used the proper form of my in the interview. What classes have you taken? There are no rules regarding the order of the people mentioned in the whole sentence. I have taken writing courses, including journalism.

      • Pheobe

        You are correct, Maureen. The actual rule, Rita, states that the use of “myself” is correct when used in a sentence where the writer/speaker has already used “I.” I’m not sure where you learned all this “really bad grammar.” I’ve been teaching that rule in Journalism 101 for 15 years.

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