There's good news and bad news for Mad Men fans. Creator Matt Weiner is working on a deal that would extend the show through a fifth and sixth season, but negotiations are taking so long that we won't be spending Sundays with Don and Joan this summer. In fact, production may be so delayed that the program won't come back until 2012.
However, the drama surrounding the show is already in full swing, as rumors have been flying about the state of negotiations for weeks. From Weiner's perspective, he deserves a hefty sum because the show is a massive critical hit that's responsible for reviving AMC. Yet, since the network has been able to develop other original series like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, it's now less reliant on Mad Men. (And due to the fact that Americans are more interested in the zombie apocalypse than a '60s advertising agency, The Walking Dead already has twice as many viewers as Mad Men.)
Though at times sources have suggested that AMC would drop the show, today Variety and Deadline reported that a deal is close to being finished. The New York Times also discusses the negotiations in a story running in tomorrow's print edition, but it includes no mention of a resolution. New York magazine explains:
When Variety and Deadline decided to post an update just after noon today, New York Times' TV reporter Brian Stelter took to Twitter to express his disappointment - not in those stories, but in AMC's media-relations team. "I have a story about to publish about Mad Men, so AMC tipped off a number of other outlets, possibly including Variety," Stelter tweeted. "It's unfortunate that AMC did not inform me that they were going to tip off other outlets until after they did so."
Did sources conspire to screw over the Times? Possibly, but the more pressing issue is what will the costumes look like next season?! Over the weekend the Los Angeles Times published an article on this pressing matter. Vincent Boucher writes:
But where do we go from here? Don Draper, trying to stay "relevant" in a wide tie and floppy hair? Peggy Olsen, making her mark in a miniskirt and boots? Betty, with her cigarette, entertaining at home in palazzo pants? Roger, trying to keep pace with his younger wife, sporting a Nehru jacket? And perhaps Joan, rising in her managerial role, trading her figure-tracing dresses for a man-tailored trouser suit?
Yikes. Costume designer Janie Bryant claims she doesn't know when the new season will pick up, but she has been thinking about the transition into the funkier half of the '60s:
"The beginning of the '60s is all about innocence, and then there is the downfall. The fashion was so relevant to the social atmosphere of that decade. The most fascinating thing to me is that loss of innocence," she said.
Bryant notes that bell bottoms are "still so accessible for us today" because we still wear pants that are more fitted at the thigh. She adds that miniskirts in the late '60s were just as short as they are now. There's also talk of Don losing the the skinny neckwear in favor of the wide ties, lapels, and shoulders ushered in by Ralph Lauren. So if you're a fan of the refined, early-'60s look Mad Men brought back into vogue, try to enjoy the show's long hiatus. By this time next year, designers could be pushing Mad Men-inspired workshirts and psychedelic prints.
Mad Men In Negotiations For Sixth Season [Daily Beast]
‘Mad Men' Fifth Season? Follow The Money [New York Times]
You're Going To Have to Wait a Little Longer to See Mad Men Again [New York Magazine]
Will Mad Men Get Groovy? [The Los Angeles Times]