Mad Men: Season Five of TV Series Delayed Until 2012

Mad MenAMC gave the go-ahead for season five of Mad Men some time ago but negotiations, first with the studio, and now with creator Matthew Weiner have held things up. For the first time, AMC has acknowledged the delay will mean the show won’t be back this summer.

A new statement reads, “AMC has officially authorized production of season 5 of Mad Men, triggering our option with Lionsgate (Mad Men’s production company). While we are getting a later start than in years past due to ongoing, key non-cast negotiations, Mad Men will be back for a fifth season in early 2012.”

Supposedly negotiations between Lionsgate, AMC, and Weiner have hit a snag in recent days. They’ve apparently offered Weiner $30 million to continue as showrunner for three seasons. In return, they’ve asked him for three concessions which have become sticking points: to trim about two minutes of each episode’s running time (so that the cable channel can sell more commercials), additional product placement (which has been part of the series since season one), and cutting two regular castmembers.

The Wrap reports that a source close to the negotiations says that they are actually asking for six castmembers to be cut over the course of the next three seasons, losing two each year.

Weiner confirmed that he was being asked to cut episode running times and some castmembers and claimed that this would make Mad Men “a different show.” He said, “I don’t understand why, with all of the success of the show, they suddenly need to change it.”

Two other prominent showrunners tweeted about Weiner’s negotiations today and were hardly understanding of their comrade.

>Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter wrote, “You can’t ask a network for 10 million, then bitch when they want to expand their ad revenue source. Whore or saint, pick one.”

Lost’s Damon Lindelof wrote, “Not that I’m sour grapes, but TEN MILLION DOLLARS a year for 13 episodes of a single show seems pretty fair, no? #SOURGRAPES.”

The delay in production has caused some havoc for the castmembers who are contractually obligated to the series. They can’t take on other projects because they have to keep their schedule open for production and they aren’t getting paid for Mad Men either.

What do you think? Is Weiner being unreasonable? Which castmembers could you stand to lose?

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6 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Craig says

    Weiner seems a little slow. How does he not understand the reason AMC needs to make changes when he just hit them up for a lot more money?

  2. Kat says

    Ugh, accept fewer millions and keep the cast members, that’s what I say. More show, less advertising; it’s not going to be the same show with the changes they propose, but at the same time, I can’t really fault them for trying to make more money off the show if they’re going to be paying ~that much~ for Matt Weiner. I think both parties are ruining the magic of the series, but whatever happens, at least we have the first four seasons the way the show was meant to be shown.

  3. Samara says

    I hate to be the one to say it, but I think Weiner is being greedy! Either do what you are being asked to do in order to keep your ridiculous $30 million, or do the right thing and take less money to keep your show the same! I agree with Damon and Kurt in what they said with their tweets!

  4. Electron says

    Disappointing both about the delay and the loss of cast members. As far as advertising is concerned, there are far too many ads now much less adding more!

  5. REC says

    I commented on another site about the whole “negotiation” nonsense, and to be honest I don’t care to comment on it. All I will say is that if production cost cannot be replaced in any way, Mad Men is in danger if season 5 does not doo amazing with ratings.

    As for the delay, it’s not that bad. Also, if you follow the reports as often as I do and watch other AMC shows, you would know the delay was inevitable either way. For some reason AMC has not aired any original programming from Jan-Mar, so they put The Killing in Breaking Bad’s spot. Breaking Bad season 4 was reportedly pushed to July 2011 and it was assumed Mad Men would be pushed back. As of September 2010, The Walking Dead was given a season 2 order and that comes in right after the summer show. So again, because AMC does not air their original programming on any nights but Sundays, it was obvious Mad Men would be pushed to 2012. Hopefully, AMC can figure out their scheduling issues past the first quarter of 2012.

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