Matthew Weiner Almost Pete Campbelled His Way Off of Mad MenS

In an interview yesterday with the New York Times, Mad Men mastermind Matthew Weiner talked all about the show's much-anticipated 5th season, including how terrifyingly close it came to never happening. Faced with an interminable negotiation process, Weiner says he wanted to quit the show faster than a kid who's been beamed too many times wants to quit little league:

I quit. I had come to terms with the fact that it was over. And I always end every season like it's the end of the show. So, yeah. There was a terror in me that someone else would come in and do it. And I don't know how they would do it, but I would have to live with that. In the most protective and demanding way, I did not feel that it was worth going back to work to make a show that was not the show I'd been making. I had this argument with my wife, where I said: "You don't understand – it's not just a matter of changing the show. I don't want to go to work and do it different. I just figured out how it works."

I imagine that in between Weiner wanting desperately to quit and then deciding not to quit, his wife played the Trudy to his Pete Campbell by telling him to stop whining and get back to work making his hit show lest her father stop paying their mortgage or pull the Clearasil account.

The ‘Mad Men' season that almost wasn't [NY Times]

Matt Weiner ‘Quit' ‘Mad Men' During Season 5 Negotiations [HuffPo]