[Update: Mad Men season 5 has been confirmed.]
Fans of AMC's hit drama Mad Men have been waiting with bated breath for word on when the production would begin on season 5.
In our last update, show star (and knockout redhead) Christina Hendricks still didn't know about the fate of Mad Men season 5, though AMC Senior Vice President Joel Stillerman promised fans awhile back that ever-expanding cable network would not be losing one of its flagship series.
For those not familiar with the behind-the-scenes drama with TV's most acclaimed drama: Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was negotiating a renewal deal with the show's producer, Lionsgate TV, while Lionsgate TV was busy negotiating a renewal deal with AMC. In the shifting landscape of television, where ratings and revenue are in the midst of a serious paradigm shift, smart renegotiation deals have become more important - and trickier - than ever. Add to that the fact that Mad Men has two-tiers of renegotiation hoops to jump through, and you can see where things would get a bit messy.
But fear not, Mad Men fans, as there seems to be hope in sight: Deadline reports that a deal between Wiener/Lionsgate TV/AMC seems to be nearing completion. No details of the deal have been released yet, though I think it's safe to assume that Wiener (and Lionsgate TV?) is getting a bigger chunk of change than allotted by the deal signed two years ago, when Mad Men wasn't as big a hit than it is today.
[caption id="attachment_107230" align="aligncenter" width="520" caption="Weiner on set with star Jon Hamm. "][/caption]
No one really ever believed that Mad Men would die in negotiation limbo, but it's nice to hear word of some forward motion. Of course, at this point it's almost certain that the show will NOT make its usual late July premiere date, which will be a serious bummer for those of us who have become accustomed to getting quality original programming in the dead slump of summer reruns. Oh well, at least I'll still have my Netflix account to help me catch up on all the TV/Movies I missed during the year...
As for the Emmys - according to Deadline, Mad Men will still likely premiere in time for consideration at next year's awards, but personally I'm going to wait until all the ink is dry on the contracts before I get too hopeful. You never do know with Hollyweird.
We'll let you know if (let's call it "when") the deals for Mad Men season 5 are completed, when the show will go into production and when it will return to the airwaves. Stay tuned.