AMC should just forget about airing the final season of Mad Men on TV next year and release all the episodes in big theaters nationwide. Time and again during Emmy season, whenever Mad Men is shown on the big screen — such as Awardsline’s screening of the midseason finale “Waterloo” last night at the Landmark Theatre — it’s like watching a big summer film with a large audience. Last year at a TV Academy screening, there was a large gasp from the crowd when young Sally Draper walked in on her Dad bedding the neighbor, and last night was no exception with a hilarious uproar spurred from Pete Campbell’s excitement and Jim Cutler’s bristling over news of the ad firm’s latest merger.
Following the screening last night to a jam-packed theater, Deadline’s Dominic Patten led a panel with close to the entire Mad Men top players in attendance sans Jon Hamm and John Slattery: Christina Hendricks (Joan), Elisabeth Moss (Peggy), January Jones (Betty), Jessica Pare (Megan), Vincent Kartheiser (Pete), Kiernan Shipka (Sally), Robert Morse (Bert Cooper) and, of course, creator Matthew Weiner.
Related: ‘Mad Men’ Midseason Finale Surges In Live+3 Ratings
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Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner will receive the 2014 International Emmy Founders Award during the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ awards ceremony November 24 in NY. Weiner is no stranger to the Emmys: he’s been nominated for 11 for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and Mad Men won four consecutive Outstanding Drama Series Emmys from 2008-2011. “With Mad Men, Matthew Weiner redefined period television and created a global cultural phenomenon that has dramatically changed the television landscape,” said Academy president and CEO Bruce Paisner today. “We look forward to honoring his creative talent with our Founders Award, a few weeks before the final episodes of this great series.” Mad Men just wrapped the first part of its seventh and final season last week with 1.9 million viewers for the AMC drama. The Memorial Day weekend semi-finale was down from the 2.7 million who watched the Season 6 finale last June.
Related: ‘Mad Men’ Finale “Set In Stone”, Weiner Says; No Spinoffs Planned
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of May 25’s Mad Men Season 7 midseason finale.
If you thought Matthew Weiner was going to let a teaser or spoiler slip for the upcoming final episodes of Mad Men next year, think again. “Can’t tell you that, you got to watch” is all the creator of AMC’s acclaimed series has to say on that front. “You’ll have to see how we bring it all together,” the reticent producer adds. “We don’t want to punch them in the face,“ says Weiner of Mad Men fans’ expectations for the end of the show. “We want them to walk away changed or better or at least entertained by it. That’s all I can say.” Speaking to Deadline the day after the Season 7 midseason finale of Mad Men aired, Weiner will say though that when the show is done in 2015, it’s truly over. “Yeah, that’s it. That’s it,” he admits, briskly putting to rest any idea of Sterling Cooper & Partners sequel or spinoffs. “I love that people are trying to project and guess what the storytelling is. I’m writing the finale today as I was yesterday and it’s set in stone.”
Related: AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ Midseason Finale Gets 1.9M Viewers
What’s not set in stone is Weiner’s heart about Mad Men reaching the end of the first 7 episodes of its seventh season. “You know what, I’m a little sad as I always am when the show goes off the air,” the multiple Emmy winner admits about reaching the halfway point to the end with the May 25 broadcast and the wait until the show returns next spring for its last 7 episodes. As every Mad Men finale has been, the midseason Season 7 ender of the series that launched the AMC Original Series brand was co-written and directed by Weiner.
Related: On Eve Of ‘Mad Men’ Premiere, Matthew Weiner Near Millennium Deal For Pic ‘You Are Here’
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Was it Matthew Weiner‘s idea or the network’s to make viewers wait until next year for the final episodes of the last season of Mad Men? Is Weiner ending the series because he’s afraid to show ’70s fashions? Did Weiner have no happy memories of the ’60s? Watch here:
Count Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan among the long list of people who believe that this is a golden age for television. “If Dickens were alive today he’d probably be a showrunner,” the AMC chief said in a panel at The Cable Show. Weiner credits HBO’s The Sopranos, where he was a writer, for helping to establish television as a home for art as well as commerce. “There’s not one thing [in the show] that would pass a focus group, and it’s a billion dollar business.” That helped to interest AMC in Weiner’s Mad Men. “The word ‘Sopranos‘ was bigger on our first poster than anything else,” he says. Weiner wrote the pilot 14 years ago and the experience since then “has been life altering in every way….I got to grow up as [lead character Don Draper] has grown up.” Weiner praised AMC for taking a risk on his show, and others. “Breaking Bad and Mad Men have nothing in common. Why are they doing them? Because they’re both good. That’s an interesting strategy.”
EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Entertainment is near a deal to distribute You Are Here, the film written and directed by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner that premiered at the last Toronto Film Festival.
It is the first film Weiner directed since What Do You Do All Day, the 1996 helming debut Weiner made before he developed his edgy voice on The Sopranos and then Mad Men, the celebrated AMC drama which begins its final season Sunday. The film stars Owen Wilson as bored TV weatherman Steve and Zach Galifianakis as eccentric shut-in Steve. The two childhood best friends embark on a road trip back to their hometown after the latter learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father. There they do battle against Ben’s formidable sister (Amy Poehler) and deal with his father’s 25-year-old widow (Laura Ramsey). No confirmation on the deal, but I’m told reliably it’s happening and that the film will come out later this year. The film is produced by Gilbert Films’ Gary Gilbert, Jordan Horowitz, Scott Hornbacher, and Weiner.
Pic was packaged and sold by CAA and ICM Partners.
AMC threw a Hollywood premiere Wednesday night to kick off what was termed “the beginning of the end.” AMC president Charlie Collier, Mad Men creator Matt Weiner and cast and crew were at the Arclight Theatre for the “Time Zones” episode that begins the first half of Season 7 premiering April 13th. The season marks the final go-round of the landmark four-time Emmy-winning Best Drama Series. The protracted goodbye will be split between seven episodes this spring and the final final episodes in spring 2015.
It was all very bittersweet last night as production actually was just beginning on those even as the premiere was kicking off. In fact, executive producer Scott Hornbacher, who directed the “Time Zones” episode, was late to this party as he is also directing the first of those backend episodes. He told me later at the Chateau Marmont afterparty that it’s going to be tough to end it, pointing to several people in the room he described as “family,” people he saw every day. That was the general consensus I got from so many cast members and AMC execs who have been with this since Day 1. One exec told me he was 24 when he first saw the pilot script. He’s 35 now. Life goes on. And so does Mad Men – at least to the conclusion for this iconic group of characters. CAA’s Bryan Lourd was seated next to me (he reps Weiner) and told me he wouldn’t have missed this event — even though CAA is having its retreat this weekend at La Costa near San Diego and he had to postpone a run-thru there to 11 PM so he could make it down the 405 freeway after the screening. Read More »
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. Read More »
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. Read More »
SATURDAY UPDATE: Who in the world at the WGA thought it was a good idea to let TV Guide sponsor this? And why didn’t more of the union’s scribes know about this online WGAW and WGAE member vote on both coasts? How could the WGA diminish the value of its name and integrity in exchange for a lame Red Carpet event? Deciding what 101 shows are the best written TV series of all time should be serious business for the Writers Guild and all its membership. Especially since this special tribute event at the Writers Guild Theater and exclusive live webcast will be presented on WGA.org on June 2nd at 7 PM PT. But already it’s being called into question especially with TV Guide celebrating its 60th anniversary with all kinds of lists. Will this WGA-affiliated event just represent what’s convenient for the media outlet in terms of attracting recognizable current-day names and not necessarily the best of the best or even best of the past? The ’101 Best Written TV Series’ list is supposed to span seven decades of programming and cover just series, not episodes. All genres were eligible for consideration, but the shows had to be written in English and broadcast on U.S. airwaves. Individual or non-serialized programs were deemed not eligible, including telefilms, MOWs, specials and miniseries with less than six hours of programming. According to the WGA, “panelists” scheduled to appear include: Steven Bochco, James L. Brooks, Vince Gilligan, Winnie Holzman, Norman Lear, Steven Levitan, Merrill … Read More »
The season will start with a two-hour movie written by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and directed by Scott Hornbacher that will air at 9 PM, AMC announced this morning. Series star Jon Hamm will direct the season’s second episode a week later as it settles into its regular 10 PM time slot. When last we left Hamm’s Don Draper and company, the firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was still recovering from Lane Pryce’s suicide, Peggy Olson had joined a rival agency, Roger Sterling was all tripped out and Don was sitting on the sidelines of wife Megan’s first big break — and contemplating a proposition by two pretty young things (or was he?). Weiner, speaking to The New York Times, would not be led as to just where the story will pick up April 7. “It will advance in time, as it does… I can’t say how much or how little. We’re coming off a period in Don’s life where he’s trying to normalize, and trying to have this relationship — a real relationship with this woman that he fell in love with. She expressed her desires and that was a surprise for him. On this show, it’s a very rich, full orchestra, and we like to follow what is the next stage in these people’s lives.”
Related: AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ Heads To Hawaii For Season Premiere Read More »
The world is beating a path back to NATPE after the annual TV programming conference spent the better part of the last decade fighting for its survival. When NATPE’s 2012 Market & Conference unfolds January 23-25 in Miami Beach at the Fontainebleau Resort, it will feature in excess of 600 buyers, more than 200 exhibiting companies and some 5,500 attendees, NATPE president and CEO Rick Feldman estimated during a conference call with reporters this morning. That’s significantly greater interest than there was for the confab as recently as five years ago, Feldman stressed. “It’s not going to look like it did 15 years ago,” he was quick to add. “But relative to the market as it is today, we’ll be featuring the best contingent of domestic broadcasters that we’ve had in a very long time. From every single perspective — distributors, total attendees, buyers and advertisers — we’re either slightly to really nicely ahead of where we were. And a lot of the companies participating this time are new ones. If you look at the list, so many of them didn’t exist five years ago.” Also flocking back to NATPE after lackluster participation in recent years are the bigger agencies like UTA, CAA, WME and ICM, Feldman noted. Read More »
FreemantleMedia North American CEO and American Idol producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Colombian producer Fernando Gaitán, Fox president of station ops Dennis Swanson and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner will receive the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award at the next NATPE Market & Conference. The annual confab is set for January 23-25 at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami; a cocktail reception to celebrate the honorees is January 24. The award recognizes professionals who “exhibit extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating television programming.”
Emmys Live-Blog; Emmys By The Numbers; Emmy Analysis: Broadcast TV’s Big Awards Comeback; Red Carpet Executive Arrivals
Deadline’s Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond were backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight to hear what the winners had to say.
Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell came backstage together after winning the awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The Modern Family stars were asked first about being part of a show that is breaking ground for gays. Burrell said, “I don’t know, in terms of America, it feels very, very good to be on a show that seems like it’s slowly changing a lot of minds. Eric [Stonestreet] and Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] deserve all of the credit for that, and our amazing showrunners. It’s a great thing to just peripherally go to events and just basically start to talk about those characters like any other characters, relating to their life — it’s pretty cool.” Bowen joked, “As a straight woman, and part of a straight couple on the show, I feel marginalized.” On a more serious note, she added: “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but where it’s an issue, I’m glad that we are part of helping change minds.” Using the word “straight” in a different context, Burrell praised Bowen: “It’s even greater credit to what Julie does that the straight-person wins an Emmy, I don’t think that happens very often. In a couple there’s usually a straight-man and a wilder character. It’s due to her resourcefulness as an actor.” On going back to the set with an Emmy when other cast members were also nominated, Burrell said: “Eric won last year, and Ed [O'Neill] actually just said something really sweet right before the award, ‘whoever wins deserves it.’ I feel like we’re trying to enjoy this moment more than anything — we know this doesn’t last forever; we’re having a lot of fun.” Bowen said about her surprise win, “I kinda thought it was a lock on Betty White. If I didn’t have a dog in this fight, and I had two, I would have voted for Betty White. Claire is not necessarily fall-down funny every time.” She credits the writers for having found ways to make her character have many dimensions and “not just be the mom.” …
Later, Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, winners for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, were asked how it feels for Modern Family to be sweeping the awards so far, with wins in every category they’ve been eligible for. Levitan: “We’re beyond thrilled with the way things have gone, obviously. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and from the bottom of our hearts we feel that Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen deserved to win. (Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series winner) Michael Alan Spiller, not so much. To tell you the truth, it’s a little surreal.” They were then asked what they did to ramp up the stories and quality of Modern Family in Season 2. Levitan: “We feel like we know the characters a little bit better this year. There was such dedication this year to keeping the quality up. We all live in fear of the quality dipping so we work extra hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. … I’ll also tell you that our kids are the unsung heroes of the show. What they do on this show is amazing. We ask them to do such complicated turns and they nail it constantly. They’re playing at the same level as the adults and that’s a rare thing.” … Read More »
Cable networks having the freedom to develop, greenlight and schedule projects on their own schedule is great, but sometimes it might be better to have the pressure of a looming May broadcast upfront presentation to get big deals done. Like locking in Matthew Weiner for AMC’s Mad Men, which would pave the way for the cable network to officially greenlight a fifth season of the show. After months of negotiations over compensation (Weiner had been asking for a lot more than what he got under the a rich pact he inked with Mad Men producer Lionsgate TV and AMC 2 years ago), the sides are said to be finally (and slowly) nearing a deal.
But with negotiations pushing into late March, Season 5 of Mad Men probably won’t be able to launch in the summer as the show normally does. The period drama usually premieres in late July. Two years ago, when Weiner didn’t close his deal until mid-January, the season premiere was pushed to August. It’s safe to say that the delay will be even bigger this year. Idled by the unplanned hiatus, Mad Men star Christina Hendricks recently booked a movie, Seconds of Pleasure. As for Mad Men‘s Emmy chances, they won’t be affected by the delay. The series’ fourth season is up for nominations this year and it is certain that the upcoming Season 5 will also … Read More »
AMC didn’t hold an executive Q&E session at TCA, just a panel for upcoming drama The Killing. But at the beginning of that panel, the network’s executives addressed the big question: the future of the network’s flagship series Mad Men. There is no deal yet with Lionsgate TV for a fifth season of the Emmy-winning period drama or between Lionsgate and series creator Matthew Weiner for him to continue on the show. Just like two years ago, both are proving to be nail-biters, with a lot of money on the line. The plan is to bring Mad Men back for Season 5, AMC SVP Joel Stillerman told reporters before introducing The Killing panel but was quick to note that he didn’t know when. After the panel, our contributor Ray Richmond asked AMC president and GM Charlie Collier about the state of the Mad Men renewal. “We’re negotiating, don’t know much more than that yet,” he said. “Can’t put a timetable on if.” Last time around, the deals closed in January, shortly after Mad Men had triumphed at the Golden Globes.
It looks like we’re in for another round of drawn-out Mad Men negotiations between AMC and Lionsgate TV and between Lionsgate and series creator/showrunner Matthew Weiner. And while talks on both fronts are underway, another deadline is looming – the options on the cast expire at the end of the month. That certainly complicates things as the producing studio may have to make a decision on the cast before the show’s future is certain. But if you can’t imagine Mad Men without Jon Hamm or Elisabeth Moss or January Jones or John Slattery, you don’t have to. While it appears that there may not be a deal for the show’s renewal by the end of the month, I hear Lionsgate fully intends to exercise the actors’ options before the Dec. 31 deadline. That is a good sign that the studio anticipates that Mad Men will be back for a fifth season. Negotiations on Weiner’s previous deal with Lionsgate two years ago dragged well into January and closed days after Mad Men triumphed at the Golden Globes for a third consecutive year as best drama series. This week, the period drama landed 3 Golden Globe nominations: for best drama series, best actor Hamm and best actress Moss, as well as 3 SAG Award nominations: for best drama series cast, best drama actor, Hamm and best drama actress, Moss.
Despite reports that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is gearing up his feature directorial debut You Are Here with a cast of Jack Black, Renee Zellweger and Matt Dillon, don’t dress for it. Weiner’s reps tell Deadline the project is indefinitely postponed and there is no cast set…
Kevin and Dan Hageman, the writers whose script works include the Sony Animation pic Hotel Transvylvania, have made a Warner Bros deal for Acme, which ponders the manufacturer of those inventions that Wyle E. Coyote bought, that never seemed to work properly in catching the Road Runner. Dan Lin and Roy Lee are producing a project that’s envisioned as a live action/CG mix. Warner Bros owns the Looney Tunes franchise and recently set Elf scribe David Berenbaum to draft the CG/live action pic Bugs Bunny. CAA and Underground rep the scribes.
It’s hard to look around and not come across an ad for the upcoming fourth season of AMC’s drama Mad Men. There are billboards, promos, reviews, stories, and interviews with the cast and creator Matthew Weiner seemingly everywhere this week, which leads to the Sunday season premiere. This week also happens to be when TV Academy voters receive their ballots for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. And on Monday, the day after the Mad Men season premiere, they will start receiving the ballots for the categories featured in the main telecast, including best series. Of course, Mad Men will be judged for Season 3, but is all this attention to the new season helping the series’ Emmy chances? Mad Men won multiple awards including the top drama series statuette at the Emmys in the past 2 years. Both times, a new season of the show launched just before the final voting phase, with fresh episodes airing throughout. In the year before Mad Men’s first Emmy appearance, 2007, The Sopranos won best drama series. The series was also fresh in voters’ minds, having concluded its run with the much-talked about finale in June.
In comedy, it’s mostly about the characters, the situations and laughs, but in drama, it’s about the emotional connection with the show. That’s why I think having a series fresh in your mind while voting is important. I think it’s not a coincidence that in the month after the end of … Read More »