Some good news and some bad news for Mad Men fans.
AMC has officially greenlit season 5 of the Emmy-winning series. Talks between show runner and creator Matthew Weiner and AMC\Lionsgate had nearly broken down, not over his 2 year, $30m deal, but because AMC demanded more product placement, cutting episodes by two minutes, and axing two regular cast members.
I don’t have a problem with product placement per se; the show’s been doing that for years, and as long as it’s appropriate to the era it can be easily worked into the script.
In the past, AMC has accommodated Weiner by letting the show run long (say, an hour and five minutes instead of an hour) instead of cutting content to run more ads. I don’t see why AMC just can’t keep this up.
Weiner is adamant about not cutting cast members, so this might be a genuine sticking point. Betty (January Jones) is remarried, so as much as I enjoy looking at January every week, there’s little reason for her to be there. I’m not sure how much money Robert Morse (Bert Cooper) makes, so having him die of a heart attack might be a possibility, if necessary. Who else would you cut if you had to make the choice?
So the good news is that far from negotiations “collapsing”, the series is absolutely on. The bad news? Season 5 won’t air until 2012. As crappy as that is, I can wait for quality programming, ya know?