It was quite clear heading into Friday night’s Mad Men panel at the PaleyFest that the audience would come away knowing more about Star Wars: Episode VII than Mad Men Season 7. Star Wars wasn’t discussed, but in traditional fashion, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner not only revealed zero clues about the next season of the AMC series, which returns April 13, but he remained largely tight-lipped about his next act when the show concludes in 2015. “I love the audience not knowing how the new season is going to start,” Weiner told Deadline, “We ended [Season 6] in the fall of 1968, and we’ll begin right after that.” One reveal: “A week from today, we start shooting the final seven episodes,” star Jon Hamm during the Q&A, which followed a screening of Season 6 finale “In Care Of.” In that episode, Hamm’s complex protagonist, ad man Don Draper, suffers a layoff from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and divulges his past to his co-workers and children. “I don’t think any of us have any idea what the tone or look will be,” Hamm said of how the cast remains in the dark about the ultimate finale.
PaleyFest: ‘Mad Men’ Cast Muses About Season 6, Wonders About Season 7 And Bemoans The Inevitable End
‘Midnight Rider’ Victim Sarah Jones Memorialized At Camera Operators Awards; ‘Gravity’ And ‘Mad Men’ Land Wins
The Society of Camera Operators held an in memoriam tribute to assistant camerawoman Sarah Jones as part of its annual awards ceremony tonight at the Skirball Cultural Center. The tribute was the second to be held for the 27-year-old this weekend following Friday’s Sunset Boulevard candlelight walk and vigil in her honor, which counted nearly 1,000 local union members. Attending both events were Jones’ parents Richard and Elizabeth from South Carolina. Jones was killed in an on-set train accident during the production of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider on February 20 in Jesup, GA. Jones’ death has spurred an industrywide outcry for improved safety standards.
As part of the ceremony, her parents were presented with a plaque accepting her as an honorary member of the SOC. Former SOC president Dan Kneece, who cut together the moving tribute video of Jones as the Hall & Oates song “Sara Smile” played, said he was crying as he put together the presentation. Although he didn’t know Jones personally, he was friends with her on Facebook because of a mutual friend, Amanda Etheridge, who spoke at Friday night’s memorial about her friend and mentor. The tribute was part of the SOC’s annual awards ceremony tonight in which Gravity‘s Peter Taylor won the Camera Operator of the Year-Feature Film award and Mad Men‘s Don Devine the Camera Operator of the Year-TV award. The event took place before an audience of 500, including Society of Camera Operators and International Cinematographer Guild members. (See the full list of winners an honorees below.)
Graphic design artist Milton Glaser, renowned for capturing the heart of 1950s and 1960s advertising, created the psychedelic key art image that will be featured in the promo campaign leading up to the seventh and final season of Emmy-winning Mad Men. Series creator Matthew Weiner grew up with a poster of Glaser’s work in his childhood home and had long dreamed of working with him. Mad Men premieres Sunday, April 13 at 10 PM on AMC.
The seventh and final season of AMC’s Mad Men premieres April 13, and AMC has dropped a teaser today to whet the appetite. Remember, the seventh-season order has been upped from 13 to 14 episodes — seven to air in spring (“The Beginning”) and the final seven (“The End Of An Era”) airing in spring 2015, a la Breaking Bad. Not much here but looks cool anyway:
Well, we know one thing for sure from President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight – somebody in the White House watches Mad Men. Maybe it’s Obama himself, who has expressed a preference for the Matt Weiner-created 60s-themed series as well as Showtime’s Homeland in the past, or maybe one of his speechwriters is really into the show. Either way, getting laughs and applause, the pop culture savvy President slipped in a very deft reference to the AMC series amidst a passage about equal pay for equal work. Check out how about halfway through tonight’s speech, Mad Men officially became part of America’s historical record:
Today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship. And you know what, a father does, too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a Mad Men
AMC‘s first two original scripted franchises, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, once again will be cornerstones of the network’s 2014 schedule – Mad Men with the first half of its final season, Breaking Bad with its spinoff Better Call Saul. At the beginning of its TCA presentation today, AMC announced its 2014 scheduling plans, which include an April 13 bow for Mad Men and a November launch for Better Call Saul, starring Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman — before meeting client Walter White. Additionally, Revolutionary War spy drama Turn will have a 90-minute premiere on April 6, and 1980s personal computer age series Halt will unspool in June. Western Hell On Wheels is expected to come back in the summer, and flagship The Walking Dead is once again looking at an October return. Given that Walking Dead had been renewed for a fifth season, a pickup of its companion talk show Talking Dead was considered a formality, and AMC today officially announced the renewal of the talker, which is coming off series highs. On the unscripted side, Game of Arms will premiere Feb. 25, followed by the May returns of Small Town Security and Freakshow. “We are extremely excited about the 2014 lineup,” AMC president Charlie Collier said while still acknowledging the network’s daunting task to rebuild a …
This morning’s Golden Globes nominations came just in the nick of time for television industry pundits, who had started to foam over yesterday when the SAG Awards unveiled its round-up-the-usual-suspects TV nominees for a year that had seen so much great new programming emerge. Yes, Homeland got smacked down in a big way by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association this morning, which may cause its producers to consider more seriously all that jumped-the-shark talk. But mostly the chatter this morning was about how remarkable snub-free was this morning’s announcement. The HFPA, which dispenses the Globe Awards, is famously less change-phobic than is, say, the Screen Actors Guild, which Wednesday handed out a snub-pocalyptic list of TV noms in which Kevin Spacey was its only acting nominee from a new TV series, and HBO’s Veep the only TV series to score its first TV Ensemble nom (SAG’s version of “best series”).
Related: Golden Globe Awards Nominations
HFPA racked up major points with TV pundits this morning when it bestowed on Tatiana Maslaney her first-ever major nomination (sadly, the TV Critics Association’s trophy ceremony is not televised and so, like that tree in the forest, is not heard) for playing half a dozen clones in BBC America’s Orphan Black. Reflecting the Embarrassment of TV Riches Era in which we now live, the HFPA today showered noms on many TV newcomers including Taylor Schilling’s first Globe nom for Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, Liev Schreiber’s for Showtime’s Ray Donovan, Michael Sheen’s for Showtime’s Masters Of Sex, James Spader’s for NBC’s The Blacklist, Andy Samberg’s for Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, etc. And, in a sort of Ebineezer Scrooge After The Ghosts Drop By frenzy, HFPA even handed the much not-nominated, six-season-old Parks & Recreation its very first Globe nom for best comedy series (while star Amy Poehler picked up her third for best comedy actress).
Related: Golden Globes Nominees: Scorecard
Still, a trophy show’s not a trophy show without its snubs. Our list:
- Homeland. Showtime’s two-time best drama winner won’t even be in the running at this Golden Globe Awards; ditto Homeland’s Damian Lewis, who was last year’s drama actor winner, and the show’s two-time drama actress winner Claire Danes. (Don’t mistake this for any sign HFPA has tired of Washington-centric TV programming. Netflix’s political intrigue House of Cards is taking up Homeland’s slack, with noms to the series and stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, as well as supporting actor Corey Stoll. Wright will compete against ABC’s Scandal star Kerry Washington who received her first Globe nom for role as a Washington fixer. And, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is again nominated for HBO’s Veep, though the series itself once again did not snare a nom.)
- Mad Men. Once the darling of the trophy show circuit, the AMC period drama is shaping up as trophy-show season’s most underloved drama. The series, and star Jon Hamm, were missing from the list this morning. Mad Men’s Globes streak had been winding down; last year Hamm was nominated but the show was not, nor were any other cast members — some navel lint gazers blamed Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama The Newsroom for taking Mad Men’s slot. Yesterday, the two-time SAG-winning drama was missing from the Drama Ensemble category for the first time since the show premiered, and Hamm’s five-year drama-actor streak screeched to a halt.
UPDATED: Slain TSA Agent With Warner Bros. Ties ID’d; LAX Shooting Leaves News Networks Cautious, Celebrities Cub-Reporting, ‘Mad Men’ Crew Stranded
PREVIOUS UPDATE, FRIDAY PM: Cable news networks exercised extreme caution covering the shootout at LAX this morning when a gunman opened fire with a high-powered rifle at a security area and made his way deep into Terminal 3 before being wounded and apprehended — a shooting that left one TSA agent dead, and actors and network execs reporting for news operations.
In the cable news First To Bulletin Race: Fox News Channel broke in first, at 12:42:43 PM ET, followed by CNN at 12:44:38 and MSNBC 12:46:34 to cover the shooting that left injured seven — six of whom were sent to local hospitals, including the gunman, who was shot multiple times in the chest by an LAPD officer.
James Franco was on the scene — of course he was — though stuck in a plane at LAX. “At #lax Some S**tbag shot up the place” he tweeted, also Instagramming a pic of himself stuck on the plane. Tim Daly called in to CNN and delivered one of the most colorful initial reports from the scene. He’d been in a VIP lounge at Terminal 3 when the gunman was wounded and apprehended very nearby, in the vicinity of Gate 35, he said. Very quickly after the shooting “The LAPD burst into the lounge…weapons drawn, herding everybody together to make sure there were no bad guys in the lounge,” he described, noting that “having a gun pointed at you” in real life is a harrowing experience. He complimented authorities for doing “an outstanding job trying to keep people calm” and said he and others were locked in the lounge for “almost an hour” and when they were brought out, he saw a rifle and several clips on the ground about 30 feet away, as well as a blood and broken glass. Authorities told them to be careful not to disturb the blood or glass as they moved to the tunnel.
But Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters personality Tory Belleci is credited with breaking the new that something was up at LAX when he tweeted at 9:23 AM:”Something crazy is doing down at LAX. People running everywhere. We just got evacuated.” He and Mythbusters colleague Grant Imahara were in Terminal 3 at the time of the shooting, en route to Delaware for the filming of Discovery’s Punkin Chunkin. The two are tentatively booked to tell their stories to CNN’s Anderson Cooper tonight; Belleci was closer to the shooting, at Gate 33, while Imahara was also in the Virgin Airlines lounge. “During evac, I counted officers from Airport Police, LAPD, Homeland Security & other local PDs. All calm, all working together. Thanks guys!” Imahara tweeted about two hours after the gunfire.
AMC’s Lionsgate period drama Mad Men was the only thing filming at the airport today, according to officials at the LAX film office. The crew of about 20-30 had just completed the scene they were filming, at Terminal 4, before shooting occurred and, like many others at LAX, were held in limbo while authorities investigated the shooting. Only late this afternoon was the crew at the airport –able to get the last of their equipment out of the airport, and they had to literally walk it out – no trucks allowed.
One knock against AMC Networks as a business is that it may be too small to hold its own when it negotiates deals with cable and satellite distributors. But CEO Josh Sapan says he isn’t worried: With hit series including Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, pay TV distributors looking for opportunities to squeeze costs will find that “AMC Networks may have among the highest, if not the highest, value for penny [based] on what we put on the air,” he told investors this morning at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. Indeed, it may be worth questioning programming giants such as Disney, Fox, Time Warner, and Viacom “about where scale goes and whether all scale’s good.” Sapan credits on-demand technologies and services for changing TV viewing habits — especially for dramas — in ways that favor AMC. When someone wants to catch up with a series, “instead of having to find it on Channel 11 at 11 PM, you find it on demand and have the energy, time and attention” to enjoy it. Also, since viewers can tune in when they’re ready, they’re watching television “with more concentration and attention,” he says. As a result, programmers can “pay attention to a more nuanced story.” VOD also enables networks including the ones he controls to stick with …
AMC is having a hard time saying goodbye to its signature dramas. After splitting the final season of Breaking Bad into two parts to air in 2012 and 2013, the network is doing the same for Mad Men, the series that launched the AMC Original Series brand. To do that, the seventh-season order of Mad Men has been upped from 13 to 14 episodes — seven to air in spring of 2014 (“The Beginning”) and the final seven (“The End Of An Era”) airing in spring 2015. “This approach has worked well for many programs across multiple networks, and, most recently for us with Breaking Bad which attracted nearly double the number of viewers to its second half premiere than had watched any previous episode,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “We are determined to bring Mad Men a similar showcase.” Added Mad Men creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner. “We plan to take advantage of this chance to have a more elaborate story told in two parts, which can resonate a little bit longer in the minds of our audience.” The first half of the final season of Mad Men will premiere on AMC this spring.
HBO, ‘Behind The Candelabra’ Lead Creative Arts Emmy Awards; Bob Newhart, Dan Bucatinsky, Melissa Leo, Carrie Preston, Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, ‘Undercover Boss’, ‘South Park’ & Tony Awards Among Winners
The first 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards were handed out this afternoon at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. HBO led with 20 Emmys, followed by CBS with 15 and NBC’s with 11. HBO’s Behind the Candelabra was the most awarded program with 8 Emmys. CBS’ Undercover Boss won best reality show, South Park was named best animated show, while Project Runway‘s Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn took best reality hosts. The Guest Actor/Actress categories were the highlight of the ceremony with emotional wins for comedy great Bob Newhart, who snagged his first Emmy for The Big Bang Theory, Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal), Melissa Leo (Louie) and Carrie Preston (The Good Wife). A new 45-second rule imposed on winners’ walk to the stage and acceptance speeches created quite a stir at the ceremony, which still ran for almost 4 hours, clocking in at 3 hr 49 min. A two-hour, edited version will air Saturday, September 21st on FXX.
Diane Haithman, Ray Richmond and Anthony D’Alessandro were on the scene at the Nokia for Deadline: Balmier weather than last year’s 100-degree heat made for a livelier Red Carpet. Matt Weiner, whose Mad Men suffered a historic shutout last year with 17 nominations and no wins, was optimistic heading into the ceremony. “Ya know what, anything would be great,” he said. “I would love to see one of our (guest) actors recognized. Linda (Cardellini), Harry (Hamlin), Robert Morse. None of our actors have been recognized (with wins). We’ve never won an editing or cinematography award.” Asked whether Mad Men would possibly do a Season 8 if the price was right, Weiner said: “No, no, it’s not about the deal. I want to wrap the show up. I have a good vibe for what we’re doing in this last piece and that’s the way to go. Will there be more TV and film in my life? I hope so. I’ve written a play. I don’t expect this (the Emmy sensation) to happen again. That would be greedy.”
Some 88 awards were given away today. To try to get it done in a reasonable time, Creative Arts Emmys producer Spike Jones Jr. appeared onstage before show time to urge winners to keep it short, announcing a 45-seconds limit from the moment the winner’s name is announced. “You have 45 seconds to get from your seat all the way down the aisle, up the steps, and do your acceptance speech. I’m not kidding. Forty-five seconds. We’ve found that you can say a lot in a very short period of time. Everybody in this room will thank you for it.”
2013 Creative Arts Emmy Winners
The never-shy Community showrunner Dan Harmon and star Joel McHale set an outrageous tone at the outset as presenters of the first four awards, channeling infamous Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais. “Tonight we honor all of the people in primetime television who are contractually obligated not to make eye contact with me,” said McHale. Harmon, the combative fired and then reinstated boss of Community, then made a quip about how he’d soon be fired by FXX, the new network telecasting a truncated edition of the ceremony. “We’re going to show those frauds (in TV) that these people (here tonight) are the real celebrities,” he said.
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Laray Mayfield, CSA, Casting Director
Julie Schubert, CSA, Casting Director
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or Special
Behind The Candelabra • HBO • Jerry Weintraub Productions in association with HBO Films
Carmen Cuba, CSA, Casting Director
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series
30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video and Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Television
Jennifer McNamara-Shroff, Casting Director
Blichfeld + Daniels, Casting Directors
UPDATE, 5:32 PM: Charlize Theron just got a new movie mother, and it is Christina Hendricks. The Mad Men actress has gone from a supporting role to a lead in the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2009 thriller Dark Places, I’ve learned. Originally set to play stripper Krissi Cates in the Gilles Paquet-Brenner directed movie, Hendricks now will play Patty Day, the murdered mother of Theron’s Libby Davis character. The producers offered the role to the Emmy-nominated actress after Samantha Morton fell out. Like the book, the film follows Libby learning that the supposed massacre of her family by brother Ben, which she testified in court decades beforehand, might not be what was assumed. Hendrick’s Patty will be seen in a series of flashbacks throughout the movie as the truth of really happened and what Libby really saw becomes clearer. Also starring Chloe Moretz, Nicholas Hoult and House Of Cards’ Corey Stoll, the pic produced by Exclusive Media, Cuatro Plus Films, Denver & Delilah, Hugo Productions and Mandalay Vision began shooting last week in Louisiana. UPDATE: Former Sopranos star Drea de Matteo has landed the Krissi Cates role. The Emmy Winning de Matteo is repped by the Gersh Agency and Untitled Entertainment.
PREVIOUSLY, AUG. 20: EXCLUSIVE: The movie adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling thriller about …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
In the “what a difference a year makes” category, consider the case of AMC’s Mad Men. In August 2012, the drama series category chatter was all about whether Mad Men could make Emmy history by winning its fifth top drama trophy in succession. Then the Showtime thriller Homeland stepped up to steal the thunder (and the statuette) in its first season. This time around, the favorites are instead Mad Men’s fellow AMC hour Breaking Bad and Homeland, which looks to repeat. Standing in their way are repeat nominees Game Of Thrones and Downton Abbey as well as newbie House Of Cards, the freshman drama that represents a true wild card for Netflix on its maiden Emmy voyage.
It took The Sopranos until its fifth season to win best drama, too. And this looks to be Breaking Bad’s time. Plus, the show is premiering its final eight episodes just as ballots are starting to hit mailboxes. It’s got the buzz factor going in spades.
Shows simply aren’t supposed to win their first series Emmy on their fourth try, and rarely do. Moreover, too many members of the TV Academy could be turned off by the show’s perpetually dark, gritty, violent tone.
EXCLUSIVE: Costume designer Janie Bryant — best known for Mad Men and her Emmy-winning work on HBO’s Deadwood – is in development on a new design competition series with E.J. Johnston and James Deutch, co-creators of NBC’s fashion competition series Fashion Star. In the new show — working title Janie Bryant’s Hollywood — wannabe designers will be given a different challenge each week to create a garment in the style of a classic Hollywood film, or a celebrity’s signature style (think Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Warren Beatty, etc). Bryant and the show’s judges will decide each week who best executed the challenge. “We loved the idea of tapping into someone like Bryant, who is great at finding a look and designing costumes for film and TV and seeing how it translates into the real world,” Deutch tells Deadline. “Janie totally gets how to translate Hollywood to mainstream fashion.” He says they’ve just started pitching the show to networks, focusing on cablers such as Bravo, E! and Lifetime — networks that target women, people who love movies, and/or have had success with other fashion shows.
UPDATE, 1:40 PM: Mad Men‘s sixth-season finale posted 2.7 million viewers — on par with last season’s finale. The AMC period drama in its sixth season added an average of 2.1 million viewers within three days and an average of 2.4 million additional viewers within seven days of the live telecast through the first 10 episodes this season, the network said today. Over the season, the Mad Avenue drama averaged 2.5 million viewers and continues to rank as cable’s most upscale drama.
Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor.
Cinematography that stands out from the TV crowd is now about more than looking better than most other shows—it’s about getting a look that meets the high standards once reserved only for feature films. But with television schedules and budgets typically only a fraction of their big-screen counterparts, cinematographers on shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife and Vikings use every lighting and camera tool or trick at their disposal to deliver the goods. Digital technology and the popularity of cameras like the Alexa, which operates well in low-light conditions, have helped immensely, but it still takes creativity to find camera moves and lighting techniques that truly stand out.
Going back to basics has paid off for AMC’s Mad Men. Cinematographer Christopher Manley likes, whenever possible, to drop the second camera typically used to ensure closeups and coverage of every scene. “We set up A shots, and if the B shot can work without compromising either shot, then we’ll use it. Otherwise, we don’t,” he explains. The result is more medium shots, giving the closeups more impact and evoking a classic big-screen style. “Doing closeups a lot of the time in television is more about a holdover style from when TVs were much smaller and people were sitting in their living room looking at a 20-inch screen 8 feet away,” says Manley. “Nowadays, everybody has a large 16:9 television that dominates their living room, so I think it’s OK to go back to a more old-fashioned scale of using wider shots.”
Now it gets serious. Emmy ballots become active at 6 PM PT tonight for all 16,000+ active voting members of the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences and are due by snail mail to Academy accountants Ernst & Young by June 28 at 5 PM PT. Although, unlike the Oscars and other awards voting groups, there is no direct online voting option for the TV Acad yet (but certainly there will be one eventually), the list of eligible shows and individual achievements with corresponding numbers for the Scranton computer ballot can be accessed via a special Emmy web address or on old-fashioned paper if members request it. Trying to influence those members (full disclosure: I serve on the Academy’s Board Of Governors representing the Writers branch) just as voting gets underway are the Television Critics Association which (coincidentally?) announced their nominations today and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association which (coincidentally?) holds its awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton tonight. But even as these are well-timed events, the TV Academy generally has a mind of its own and often is much slower to embrace the newer, quirkier programs these groups tend to endorse in a big way.
But things are looking up and the Academy does seem to be responding to new blood. Last year Homeland in only its first season dethroned four-time champ Mad Men. Lena Dunham’s edgy Girls and FX’s Louie also made waves. On the other hand the very deserving Breaking Bad, a critical favorite, has yet to win a Drama Series Emmy even as it ends its run later this summer (though stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have won multiple times). Those final eight shows will be running just as the last phase of Emmy voting is taking place in August and could be a factor even though those episodes won’t be eligible until next year as cutoff was May 31. Last summer’s batch of eight is what voters will be assessing this year.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Tonight’s event honoring AMC’s Mad Men at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences headquarters in North Hollywood – organized by AMC and designed to generate some Emmy season heat for a drama perceived to be past its awards prime – was perhaps most noteworthy for who wasn’t in attendance rather than who was. First, the list of those castmates who couldn’t make it: Jon Hamm (shooting a movie in India), Alison Brie (shooting a film in Toronto), Vincent Kartheiser (rehearsing a play in Minnesota), Christina Hendricks (shooting a movie in Detroit), John Slattery (prepping a film in New York), Aaron Staton (shooting a film “out of town”) and Rich Sommer (featured in a play in New York). While they still have air travel in every area where the seven no-shows were stationed, it’s perhaps understandable that they wouldn’t rush back to stump for more Emmy attention.