Relax, everybody: the PTA is not disbanding. AMC, Lionsgate, and “Mad Men” showrunner Matthew Weiner have all come to terms, and the ’60s drama will continue for at least two more seasons (through Season 6), with a viable plan to execute a seventh season. Here’s the official word from HitFix:
Weiner has signed a deal for two more seasons, which would be the show’s fifth and sixth, and has extended his deal with the Lionsgate studio, so that if AMC decides they want a seventh season, Weiner will be the one running it.
Frankly, I kinda hope the show ends after six or seven seasons. The last thing anybody wants to see is Don Draper in the 1970s, wearing a wide, garish tie. We already had one “That ’70s Show,” and that was more than enough for several lifetimes. *shakes fist* MASTERSON!
More details on the deal, if you happen to care:
There is no specific mandate to eliminate castmembers. The budget will be unchanged for season 5, and “everyone’s back for season 5,” according to my source… If there’s attrition in the cast between seasons, it’ll be because Weiner has a story reason for it, as he did with not bringing Michael Gladis and Bryan Batt back for season 4, but the budget won’t be appreciably different for season 6.
In terms of the request for an additional 2 minutes of ad time, that’s happening – sort of. The season premieres and finales will continue to be 47 minutes. As for the 11 episodes in between, Weiner’s been given the option to deliver episodes to AMC in both a 45 and 47-minute version. The 45-minute version is what’s going to air first on AMC, but the 47-minute version will be available on “multiple platforms” – presumably iTunes, DVD and – I’m just speculating here – maybe even the On Demand version. (UPDATE: A few stories have said that the 47-minute version will be available “digitally” 8 days later.)
My source says there was never a request for more product integration, as that’s been a part of the show from the start, going back to memorable examples like Kodak in season 1 and Heineken in season 2. The deal instead is about more transparency about the product integration – so that the sponsors can say, “Hey, we got our product featured on ‘Mad Men.’” “Everything will continue to be organic to the storylines,” my source insisted.
…and THAT, children, is how sausage gets made. Pretty boring, actually. My metrics show that this story needs 100% more “Mad Men” actress bosom.
Ahhh, much better.