“‘Mad Men’ Delayed Until 2012,” the Wall Street Journal reports:
Television audiences will need to start bracing themselves for a summer sans “Mad Men.”
AMC, which has featured “Mad Men” for the past four summers, said Tuesday it had officially ordered a fifth season of the show from studio producer Lionsgate, but that it wouldn’t be ready in time for summer and would instead air next year.
“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,” the network said in a statement.
An ongoing contract dispute with “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner lies in part behind the delay, according to several people close to the negotiation.
AMC has offered Mr. Weiner $30 million over three years, which would make him one of the most-highly paid show runners in cable television. Both sides have been negotiating since last summer and came close to an agreement over the weekend, according to several people close to the situation. But they hit a snag earlier this week over a variety of issues, including the network’s demands to shave two minutes off the show’s running time to fit in more commercials, to talk more openly about product placement on the show, and to cut $1.5 million off the budget for cast each season.
Given the era the show was set in before it went on hiatus, I blame Lyndon Johnson.
Speaking of which, the fourth season of the show is out today on DVD (my copy arrived via Amazon and UPS about an hour ago.) You can read James Lileks take on what could be the show’s last season — at least for a while — here.