Some people count the days until baseball’s opening day. The rest of us measure our lives by the number of months until “Mad Men’s” return.
But now, there’s this depressing news:
Fans accustomed to spending their summer Sundays with Don Draper may have to wait a while longer. It looks increasingly likely that the fifth season of “Mad Men,” the three-time Emmy Award-winning AMC series, will not have its debut until later in 2011 or possibly 2012.
Production would normally start around this time for the next season of “Mad Men,” but AMC has not struck a new deal with the studio that makes the show, Lionsgate, nor has that studio struck a new deal with Matthew Weiner, the series’s acclaimed creator.
Mr. Weiner has said he wants the show to continue, and AMC has pledged that it will definitely return, so the delay is largely due to a disagreement about money. As Mr. Weiner told Entertainment Weekly in January, apparently referring to AMC and Lionsgate, “They are fighting over a very lucrative property, and who is going to pay for it to get made; it’s one of the biggest perils of success — everyone wants a piece of it now, and they are fighting over who is gonna get the biggest chunk.”
Money often causes strife between program creators and distributors, but rarely do the negotiations drag out this long.
People involved in the talks suggested this week that one or both deals may be imminent, but that may not be enough to ensure a summer start date. Todd Gold, the editor in chief ofXfinityTV.com, said it was becoming clear that the show was “right on the cusp of going one way or the other.”
“By now, the writing staff should be humming along, maybe about a month or more into work for a summer premiere,” he said. “Unless Weiner is secretly manufacturing outlines in preparation of some crazy all-night writing sessions with his staff, it might be time for fans to grow concerned.”
“Mad Men” has always enjoyed an extraordinarily passionate fan base. Last month Deborah and Roberta Lipp, the makers of a fan Web site for “Mad Men” called Basket of Kisses, promoted a petition calling on AMC and Lionsgate to bring the show back in 2011. But now they are mostly resigned to a 2012 return date.
“Naturally, I’m sad, upset, frustrated and disgruntled,” Deborah Lipp said.
Roberta Lipp said: “The most highly acclaimed show on television and it can’t get back on the air? Unacceptable.”
Indeed. Read the rest.