[UPDATE: Deal is close to being done for Mad Men Season 5]

Despite verbal commitments from AMC executives, Mad Men still hasn’t been renewed for a fifth season. Licensing and renewal deals have stagnated for so long that some, including star Christina Hendricks, worry about the show making its usual summer debut.

The word around Hollywood seems to indicate that a fifth season of Mad Men is inevitable. What’s keeping the renewal from happening are two different agreements that have yet to be made: show creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner hasn’t renewed with Lionsgate TV, and Lionsgate hasn’t renewed with AMC. Though there’s no official word from either party, it’s reasonable to assume that money is the prime negotiating point.

In a recent interview, Christina Hendricks took some time to let her own feelings be known. Hendricks has played the salacious Joan Harris for the previous four seasons, and the character has become her breakout role. Asked when she thought she’d return to Madison Avenue, Hendricks had this to say:

I know that there’s a Season 5 and we generally go back [to work] around May, June…. We’re just waiting for the word on when. I’ve heard just as many rumors as anybody else about the scheduling. It’s already a long wait in between seasons for the fans, so I hope they don’t have to wait any longer.

Last month AMC Senior Vice President Joel Stillerman made a verbal commitment that the cable network’s signature show would return. While it’s possible that AMC can’t begin negotiating with Lionsgate until Weiner signs on the dotted line, you can bet that preparations are being made for Mad Men‘s initial filming. The show has a history of relatively late renewals, but none of the previous agreements stretched out beyond January.

In the meantime, fans can get their fill of Mad Men with the DVD and Blu-Ray release of Season 4, slated for March 29th. In addition to last year’s 13 episodes, you can expect three special features: a documentary on the inequality of divorce in the 1960s, archival footage of the campaign between President Lyndon Johnson and Senator Barry Goldwater, and a guide to business success “Draper-style.” Amazon has the 4-disc DVD collection listed at $29.99 and the 3-disc Blu-Ray at $34.99.

If you just can’t get enough of Christina Hendricks, you might want to check out the upcoming DC Universe Animated movie, All-Star Superman. In a clear example of under-utilization of assets, Hendricks lends her voice to the animated Lois Lane. Fair warning: you might want to read our review beforehand. The DVD and Blu-Ray is on sale starting today.

Mad Men currently has no return date.

Source: TV Line