February 23, 2024

Letters: The Annuity Question

Opinion »

The Thread: Reality Check

Enough about Weiner, let’s talk about Yemen.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=e654f23c5094b3bf3710b63e9f8039f0

ArtsBeat: Deal for Future Seasons of ‘Mad Men’

Mad MenMichael Yarish/AMC John Slattery and Darren Pettie in a scene from the fourth season of “Mad Men.”

9:27 p.m. | Updated | Lionsgate, the studio behind the critically acclaimed AMC drama “Mad Men,” said Thursday that it had signed a long-term deal with the creator of the series, Matthew Weiner.

The new deal ensures that Mr. Weiner will continue running the show for two more seasons, and includes an option for a third. That option would take “Mad Men” through its seventh season. The deal was said to be worth $30 million, one of the biggest payouts of its kind in cable television.

Mr. Weiner said in an interview Thursday evening that he expected that the seventh season of “Mad Men” would be its last. “That’s how long the show is,” he said. “I’m just thrilled I get to finish it.”

Past seasons of “Mad Men” have started in the summer, but AMC affirmed on Thursday that the show, which is now entering its fifth season, would not return until early 2012.

The future of “Mad Men” had been in doubt since last October when the fourth season ended and Mr. Weiner’s contract expired. Earlier this week, Mr. Weiner said that AMC was insisting on cuts to the cast budget and cuts to the length of each episode. He said in an interview on Tuesday, “All I want to do is continue to make my show, and make it in the way I want to, with the people I want to make it with.”

After that public statement, the parties involved apparently made peace pretty quickly. In a statement on Thursday evening, Mr. Weiner thanked “Mad Men” fans for their support and thanked AMC and Lionsgate “for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning.”

In an interview, Mr. Weiner said his new contract stipulated that cast members “will not be cut for financial considerations,” only for creative reasons.

In a compromise of sorts, the length of the show may change, but only on television. Mr. Weiner’s new contract specifies that the first and last episode of each season will remain 47 minutes long, the same length as the episodes in previous seasons. For the episodes in between, Mr. Weiner said he will create a 45-minute version for AMC to televise, and a 47-minute “final cut” that will be available in digital formats, like in Apple’s iTunes store.

“I get to make the show the way I’ve made it” in the past, he said.

He indicated that AMC planned all along for the show to skip its usual summer premiere this year. “In October, I was told that the show would be on in March 2012,” he said, adding that his attempts to move up the start of the fifth season were stymied. The reason, according to AMC, was that it had other shows in its production pipeline.

He concluded the interview by saying, “I’m overwhelmed by the expressions of support from the fans and friends of the show. It’s been an incredible experience.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=1472dbcd6891470b239a3c5dd03d5af8