After months of negotiations, AMC and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have come to an agreement about the future of Don Draper and company. Fans of the series now have two additional seasons of Mad Men to look forward to, as the show has officially been renewed for a fifth and sixth season.
Problems between Weiner and AMC originally arose when the network demanded that Mad Men be restructured for... advertising related reasons. How's that for irony?
Deadline reported that AMC/Lionsgate wanted Weiner to cut down the running time of each individual Mad Men episode by two minutes, so that more commercials can be shown. To further increase the profitability of the show, studio heads also wanted "two regular cast members" to be cut from the show per season. As the series creator, Weiner was (naturally) against either change, but AMC/Lionsgate apparently would not greenlight a fifth season unless said changes were implemented.
With Weiner’s announcement that accompanied AMC’s press release of Mad Men’s season 5 and 6 renewal, it appears that AMC/Lionsgate have thrown out their previous demands.
"I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support. 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 has made a name for itself in the cable television business over the past few years, with popular and acclaimed shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead. It’s fair to say that Mad Men made the channel what it is today and fans would not have been impressed if Weiner walked away - or if the series was outright cancelled - due to commercial interests.
On the other hand, main cast members like Jon Hamm (Sucker Punch), Christina Hendricks, January Jones (X-Men: First Class), and John Slattery (The Adjustment Bureau) are all bigger (read: more expensive) names now. Combine that with Weiner's increased salary, and it's also fair to say that Mad Men has become a much more costly production.
Sorry AMC, but that's what happens when you have an award-winning show that continues to increase in popularity.
Mad Men season 5 will premiere in 2012 on AMC
Source: Deadline, The Daily, AMC