'Mad Men' season 5 premiere date set for 2012, says AMC; No deal with creator Matthew Weiner yet
BY Richard Huff
DAILY NEWS TV CRITIC
Tuesday, March 29th 2011, 10:20 AM
'Mad Men' season 5 premiere date is set for 2012, according to AMC, despite claims that creator Matthew Weiner may not sign a deal.
In a drama worthy of "Mad Men" itself, the folks at AMC say the '60s set series will be back for fifth season even though there's still no deal with show creator Matt Weiner.
Details, details, details.
The latest round of speculation over the future of "Mad Men" hit Monday night when word surfaced that Weiner was not digging AMC's request to add two minutes of commercial time to each episode, and cut two characters.
The partners apparently agreed on Weiner's new pay package -- $30 million over two years -- according to Deadline.com, making him one of the highest paid show runners working in cable TV.
They were now stuck on the other aspects of the deal -- the fine points -- which Deadline reported also includes a potential for product integration into the show, a common practice on most series, as a way to increase revenue.
From AMC's standpoint, "Mad Men" is a franchise that helped put the network on the map.
Moreover, requests for more commercial time would give the network a shot at capitalizing off of "Mad Men's" small, but influential audience.
The latest "Mad Men" negotiation gurgle has fans of the show concerned, as well as those following the talks closer than world events, that the show may never see the light of day.
Not so fast, according to AMC.
"AMC has officially authorized production of season 5 of Mad Men, triggering our option with Lionsgate ('Mad Men's' production company)," the network said in a statement. "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."
"Mad Men" is set in an advertising agency in the '60s. The show has earned fantastic critical reviews for Weiner's keen attention to period details and sharp dialog. The show has also racked up Emmy wins. Despite the critical acclaim, "Mad Men" has generated audiences far lower than the kind of media attention it generates.
To that end, given the importance of the project to the network and Weiner, a back and forth with threats of not going forward during negotiations is expected.