Home Media Why is the “Mad Men” Negotiation Taking So Long?

It’s March 1st, do you know when “Mad Men” is coming back? No? Neither does anyone else. As of this weekend there has been no movement in the negotiations between Lions Gate, AMC, and show creator Matthew Weiner. Over the weekend, I ran into Jon Hamm, the nominal star of the show. He says nothing’s happened. He and girlfriend (accomplished writer director) Jennifer Westfeldt just wrapped their indie film, “Friends with Kids,” and now head off to edit it. I saw Jared Harris at SoHo House one night. Like most of the “Mad Men” actors, he’s trapped. He can’t really start anything because the show could come back at any moment. Indeed, the way Weiner works, if “Mad Men” were all set to begin pre-production today, Weiner wouldn’t be ready to shoot until June 1st. At least. Maybe July 1st. We wouldn’t see new shows until September. Last time, “Mad Men” debuted on July 25th. Certainly AMC’s strength is to debut in summer, away from the new fall season on the broadcast networks. But now that hope is dashed. By procrastinating so long, they’ve pushed “Mad Men” to a late fall run at best. Get with it, AMC, Lions Gate! Wrap this up. There’s nothing Weiner could want than any other star show runner has ever gotten. This stalling is only making the companies and the network look bad, and not attractive to other TV producers.

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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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