'Mad Men' renewed, won't return until 2012
AMC and Lionsgate are still in negotiations with Matthew Weiner
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"Mad Men" fans have good news and bad news on Tuesday (March 29) morning.
The good news: AMC has officially renewed the Emmy-winning juggernaut for a fifth season.
The bad news: The fifth season won't premiere until early 2012.
"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," AMC tells The New York Times.
It doesn't take a psychic to read into that statement. "Non-cast negotiations" refers to ongoing talks between "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner and AMC and producer Lionsgate TV. And those negotiations still have yet to be resolved.
According to Deadline.com, although Weiner has been close to signing a deal that would be worth an estimated $30 million for two years, there are a trio of sticking points: Increased product integration, a two-minute reduction in episode length and the elimination of two regular cast members. Several similar issues delayed Weiner's negotiations with Lionsgate two years ago.
This latest evolution in the "Mad Men" situation comes only a week after similar publications were reporting that a two-year renewal was on the way and that "Mad Men" could still return in 2011. And even that news came more than two months after AMC executives told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour that the show would be back for a fifth season.
Even before this latest delay, there had been some question if "Mad Men" would be able to return in 2011, or if AMC would even need it to. With AMC lining up seasons of "The Killing," "Breaking Bad," "Walking Dead" and possibly the new drama "Hell on Wheels" for spring, summer, fall and winter launches, the three-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series would inevitably have led to schedule scrambling.