If the existence of the Internet proves anything, it is that one person’s business immediately becomes everyone else’s business as well. And when your business is running Mad Men – one of the most successful, and lauded shows on television – you better believe everyone and his or her Twitter account has an opinion.
Matthew Weiner is learning this lesson through his ongoing negotiations with AMC, which have become just short of a spectacle, given some details pertaining to Weiner’s personal deal, and the stipulations the network has given in order for Mad Men to continue into its fifth season (and beyond).
Upon hearing the news that Mad Men would be delayed until the 2012 season, fans and professionals alike began to express their opinions regarding the deliberations. Not surprisingly, many fans immediately took Weiner’s side, yet certain professionals - like Lost co-creator and writer Damon Lindelof - seemed to voice concern that Weiner’s unwillingness to concede to AMC’s demands was simply a case of having one’s cake and eating it, too.
Lindelof’s tweet stated:
"Not that I'm sour grapes, but TEN MILLION DOLLARS a year for 13 episodes of a single show seems pretty fair, no?"
"You can't ask a network for 10 million, then b**ch when they want to expand their ad revenue source. Whore or saint, pick one."
Both tweets are clearly in reference to the historic sum of $30 million Weiner is reportedly being offered to continue Mad Men for the next three years (hopefully they don’t count 2011). However, Weiner isn’t shopping for gold-plated bathroom fixtures just yet, as that amount of cash apparently comes with some caveats the creator isn’t particularly fond of.
Purportedly, Weiner is concerned with the demand that each episode be reduced by two minutes, more product placement be inserted into the episodes (too bad irony isn’t paying for a spot on the show), and that, for season 5, two roles be significantly reduced, or written out entirely as a cost-saving venture. The demand for a any reduction in cast would be of serious concern for any creator, but now come reports that AMC is actually asking Weiner reduce the cast of Mad Men by six - two cast members a season, for the next three seasons.
Weiner has since stated that the cuts would make Mad Men a “different show.” Adding: “I don’t understand why, with all of the success of the show, they suddenly need to change it.”
If Mad Men really won’t air this year, it marks the first calendar year since the series’ inception that it has not made it to television screens. Other programs like HBO’s The Sopranos have successfully pulled off such a feat, but only time will tell if AMC will be as lucky.
As the negotiations continue, we will be sure to keep you posted on all things Mad Men.
Source: Entertainment Weekly