Saturday, May 18, 2024

“Mad Men” Creator’s Contract Expires Today–No Renewal in Sight


If — or when– “Mad Men” wins a Golden Globe tonight for Best Drama on TV, it may be an uncomfortable moment. Creator and visionary Matthew Weiner’s contract with AMC network expires today, sources confirmed.

Weiner could be taking the stage and possibly remarking that his brilliant show–winner of many awards, and highly regarded–is in peril.

I am told by insiders that life with AMC has been hell.

If you recall, “Mad Men” was passed on by HBO, where Weiner was a major writer on “The Sopranos” for years. Since then HBO has been kicking itself, as have Showtime and all other normal outlets for cable drama.

“For some reason, AMC has just never gotten it,” a source tells me. “They certainly never thought their shows would be hits.”

Weiner has not heard from AMC since “Mad Men” ended its fourth season in November. They recently announced that they renewed the show for a fifth season. But not a word has been uttered about Weiner, without whom the show cannot go on.


For fans and viewers, the hard part here is that no scripts have been written–or can be–until Weiner’s deal is done. Last year the new season began on July 15th. That would seem impossible for 2011 even if Weiner signed a deal tomorrow.

Any scoops, I asked my source? Earlier in the week, actor Bobby Morse–who plays Bert Cooper–told me “my lips are sealed.” In fact, until Weiner starts to write, no one knows anything except this–Don Draper’s engagement to his secretary, Megan, will proceed into a wedding and marriage.

“Don was not a happy single guy,” my source said. “He didn’t have a swinging bachelor pad. He had a grim apartment. He’s a guy who has to be married”– even if that means a lot of cheating.

Meanwhile–star Jon Hamm goes off to shoot a new film written and directed by girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt. Thi column announced the film, Friends with Kids, exclusively back in September.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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