For months now, the return of "Mad Men" seemed destined to happen and yet frustratingly out of reach. And while the word has finally been given, all is not well at at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, AMC has gone forward with a new season of "Mad Man," but the show won’t be back until next year.
"AMC has officially authorized production of season 5 of ‘Mad Men,’ triggering our option with Lionsgate (Mad Men’s production company)," said the network 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."
The "non-cast negotiations" referred to in the statement are those between AMC/Lionsgate and "Mad Men" creator/showrunner, Matthew Weiner.
Deadline is reporting that Weiner was close to a deal with the network that would pay him nearly $30 million for two additional season, making him the highest paid showrunner on basic cable.
However, the deal has reportedly hit a major snag over three points. The network wants more "integrating product placement" within the show itself, the elimination of two cast members as a cost savings measure and the network also wants the running time of each episode to be shortened by two minutes to allow more room for commercials. Weiner is rumored to be adamantly opposed to all of those points and the negotiations between him and the network are said to be "on the rocks."
"Mad Men" is the signature original series of AMC, winning the Emmy Award from Best Drama for three straight years. The series has faced delays before over protracted negotiations, but the latest round of talks will mean that the series will be without new episodes for almost a year and a half.
AMC’s other critically acclaimed hit, "Breaking Bad" will return this summer, while its blockbuster series "The Walking Dead" will bow for a second season in the fall, potentially mitigating the loss of "Mad Men" for at least the rest of the year.