The fifth season of AMC’s Mad Men has had a hard time finding its way back to the airwaves. Contract negotiations between show creator Matthew Weiner, AMC TV and Lionsgate hit a snag earlier this year, but after a couple of setbacks, we finally got confirmation that  Mad Men seasons 5&6 were firmly locked down.

Today TV Line and Deadline are reporting that not only will Mad Men season 5 be coming at us in March of 2012, but that Donald Draper himself, show star Jon Hamm, is going to be directing the episode.

According to Hamm, seeing his co-star John Slattery (who plays Roger Sterling) direct an episode of the show made him want to step up to the challenge himself. He’ll be heading back early to the set this summer to jump into his directorial duties.

As Hamm told TV Line exclusively:

“I watched Slattery do it, and he handled it with such grace and ability and ease…I figured if he can do it, s–t, I can do it too.”

“The wheels have officially been set in motion to make that happen…It’s a very exciting challenge that I’m looking forward to with a mixture of utter fear and excitement.”

Of course this news sure to get Mad Men fans chomping at the bit, wondering just what kind of premiere Hamm will be crafting. (MAD MEN SEASON 4 SPOILERS FOLLOW)

When last we left the world of Don Draper and Co., things had taken a serious left turn. Don had proposed to his secretary Megan out of nowhere, even while his ad agency was struggling to recover from the loss of the Lucky Strike account. Needless to say, the former Mrs. Draper was shocked to hear the news that Don was moving on. Much drama to ensue in season 5.

Show creator Mattew Weiner is as usual playing things close to the vest in terms of the script, and with the way this show shifts in both time and development, you never know where you’ll land in a new season. We’ll have to wait and see.

Look for the Jon Hamm-directed premiere of Mad Men season 5 in March of 2012.

Sources: TV Line and Deadline