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

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. READ FULL STORY

Matthew Weiner defends 'Mad Men' standoff

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner issued a statement to fan site Basket of Kisses clarifying his negotiating position that has delayed the show’s eagerly anticipated fifth season until 2012. “There’s been a lot of speculation and misinformation in the press about what is going on,” Weiner said. “I want the fans to know directly from me that I had nothing to do with this delay and it is not about money. I am fighting for the cast and for the show. And I appreciate the kindness and concern of the fans.”

Weiner said he didn’t have an “actual conversation” haggling with the network until three weeks ago. The showrunner also confirmed he was asked to cut two actors from the show each year for three years, though at least one report disputes this. “Even though people have left the show, none of that has ever been about money,” he said. “I’ve brought the show in on budget. I’ve been a good producer.” READ FULL STORY

Damon Lindelof on AMC's 'Mad Men' offer: $30 million 'seems pretty fair'

Former Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof seemingly has weighed in on AMC’s Mad Men mess.

Apparently responding to reports that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is being offered a whopping $30 million to write the show for a three-year deal, Lindelof tweeted: “Not that I’m sour grapes, but TEN MILLION DOLLARS a year for 13 episodes of a single show seems pretty fair, no? #SOURGRAPES.”

Also, one report said that Weiner was being asked to cut not two series regulars, as has been previously reported, but rather two a year for three years. Nobody’s touching that one, but having to cut six characters seems rather extreme (and creatively ridiculous — what a way to zap a show of its narrative believability than to have to eliminate a certain number of characters each season like it’s a reality show).

Meanwhile sources say that a potential deal for a three-year renewal with Weiner on board could be only a few hours away… or maybe only a day… or, well, maybe more than that.

AMC likely delaying 'Mad Men'

The usual summer premiere of AMC’s Mad Men will likely be delayed. The network, series creator Matthew Weiner and studio Lionsgate are close to a deal for the upcoming fifth season, but protracted negotiations have pushed the production’s usual schedule.

The show typically starts shooting in the spring and debuts in July, but without an agreement for a new season in place the company will probably have to delay debuting the next batch of episodes. AMC had no comment. But EW recently asked star Jon Hamm at The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump about the season’s storyline, and he said, “I don’t know if it even exists.”

“We’re still in limbo,” Hamm said. “Usually we start shooting in April or May, and it doesn’t seem like it’s happening now because the writers’ room is not in place.” READ FULL STORY

January Jones on 'Mad Men' future: Relax, people!

January-Jones-Mad-MenImage Credit: Carin Baer/AMCJanuary Jones wants the hand-wringing to end. Speaking exclusively to EW while attending the Unknown premiere in Los Angeles Wednesday, the Mad Men star said “people should relax” about the ongoing negotiations between Lionsgate and AMC over the future of the drama. The Emmy-winning series will return for a fifth season but financial issues still remain between the two companies; creator Matthew Weiner also needs to ink a new contract. READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men,' 'Modern Family' pick up WGA Awards


Mad Men and Modern Family were big winners at the Writers Guild of America Awards tonight — the two series picked up trophies for Drama and Comedy Series categories, respectively. Mad Men also picked up an award for its “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” episode. (No doubt this acclaim only reminds Mad Men fans how relieved we are that a season 5 will air on AMC.) 30 Rock won in the TV Episodic Comedy category with “When It Rains, It Pours.” READ FULL STORY

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. READ FULL STORY

'Lost', 'Walking Dead', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Glee' among Directors Guild TV nominees

The Directors Guild of America today announced its nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television and Commercials for the year 2010. They include:

Dramatic Series
Jack Bender, Lost, “The End, Part 1&2″
Allen Coulter, Boardwalk Empire, “Paris Green”
Frank Darabont, The Walking Dead, “Days Gone Bye”
Jennifer Getzinger, Mad Men, “The Suitcase”
Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire, “Boardwalk Empire”

Comedy Series
Steve Levitan, Modern Family, “Hawaii”
Beth McCarthy Miller, 30 Rock, “Live Show”
Ryan Murphy, Glee, “The Power of Madonna”
David Nutter, Entourage, “Lose Yourself”
Michael Spiller, Modern Family, “Halloween”  READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' returning for season 5, says AMC

Mad Men is coming back… eventually. AMC president Joel Stillerman said today during the winter press tour that “Mad Men is definitely coming back for season 5, but don’t ask me when, because we’re not sure yet.” The show’s future is still vague because the network is still negotiating with both series creator Matthew Weiner and Lionsgate.

Read more:
‘Mad Men’ on EW

InsideTV podcast: EW experts preview the 'Project Runway' finale, discuss Bristol Palin in a monkey suit, and name the best show on TV

Image Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime Television; Adam Larkey/ABC; David M. Russell/CBS

Project Runway is down to the final three contestants, but while it looks like Mondo has the title all but wrapped up, is there a chance he might actually lose to Andy or Gretchen? Our resident Runway expert, Missy Schwartz, has seen the final collections, and joins InsideTV (Michael Slezak, Michael Ausiello, Annie Barrett and yours truly) to talk all about it on our latest InsideTV podcast. Could there be an upset in the making, or is it Mondo all the way? Also on the menu this week: Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker pops by to give us his pick for the best show on TV. Could it be The Good Wife? Modern Family? Or is there a dark horse in the mix? He also gets into a deliciously nasty spat with Ausiello over his pick for biggest TV disappointment this season. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! Plus, Slezak eats serious crow for last week’s fearless (and foolhardy) Dancing With the Stars prediction, and we contemplate how in the name of the Medallion of Power Marty managed to not get voted off of Survivor: Nicaragua. All that and more (Mad Men! Glee! Raising Hope!) on the latest edition of the InsideTV. Either download the mp3 file here to listen on the go, or click on the player. And if you’d like to have your TV question addressed and answered on the next edition, just tweet it to @InsideTVPodcast.

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'Glee,' 'Fringe,' 'One Tree Hill,' 'Desperate Housewives,' '30 Rock, and more!

ask-ausielloImage Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC; Ron Tom/ABC; Adam Taylor/ABC; Adam Rose/FoxGot a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Just want to say hi? You can send any/all of the above to

Question: Rumor around the Glee circuit is that Quinn and Rachel lock lips in episode 6. Any truth to that? —Joan
Ausiello: Sorry, no. If it’s any consolation, it looks like the frenemies get fairly close to first base in the new GQ. Speaking of Glee, I can now confirm that the show is planning a Christmas episode. I don’t have any other details at the moment. I do, however, have a suggestion for Ryan Murphy: Please give us (read: me) an It’s a Wonderful Life homage with Sue at the center. I, er, we don’t ask for much.

Question: Glee scoop, please! —Jeffrey
Ausiello: Someone’s about to get expelled!

Question: One Tree Hill. You’re a stingy Smurf when it comes to scoop on this gem of a show. —La-roo
Ausiello: Sources close to the National Weather Center confirm that Mother Nature is doing me a solid and sending a major hurricane Hill‘s way before season’s end. READ FULL STORY

Random Scooplets: A '24' star heads to 'The Event,' pilot intel, and... a 'Mad Men' suicide?!

ausiello-scoopletsImage Credit: Everett Collection; Art Streiber/CBS; Mike Yarish/AMC* NBC’s The Event — which has been giving off some serious 24 vibes in recent weeks — has tapped one of that show’s stars for a potentially recurring gig. Actress Necar Zadegan, who recurred as the wife of IRK President Omar Hassan during the show’s eighth and final season, will play a mysterious character named Isabelle. It’s probably worth noting that former 24 boss Evan Katz is now an exec producer on The Event. It’s all starting to make sense, right?

* ABC Family has opted not to move forward with Strut, a cast-contingent pilot about a Las Vegas showgirl-turned-drill team instructor. Rumor has it producers were wooing Jenna Elfman for the title role, but Dharma wasn’t interested.

* Tennis legend Jimmy Connors will play himself in an episode of Matthew Perry’s upcoming ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine. Perry’s character Ben challenges his longtime idol to a tennis match—all in the name of charity.

* Mad Men‘s season finale is this Sunday and I have a bad feeling a major character will attempt suicide. Who? Listen to the latest edition of the TV Insiders Podcast (below) and find out! READ FULL STORY

InsideTV podcast: EW experts weigh in on the 'Mad Men' finale, Florence Henderson sexing it up on 'DWTS', and a big 'Survivor' switcheroo


Image Credit: AMC; Adam Larkey/ABC; Monty Brinton/CBS


Could Sally Draper not be long for this world? If you’re looking for a big shock to come on Sunday’s Mad Men finale, perhaps little Sally holds the key. While the rest of us are wondering whether Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price can survive the loss of Lucky Strike, Michael Ausiello thinks that Sally’s recent depression could manifest itself in a horrific way. Hear his theory as he joins Michael Slezak, Annie Barrett, Jeff “Doc” Jensen, and yours truly for another exciting edition of InsideTV podcast. Also on the menu: READ FULL STORY


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