‘Mad Men’ is close to being cancelled: the end of Don Draper (Hamm Dong)?


How F&)&*$@ stupid is AMC? That’s the question. As I wrote about last week, it was looking like the new season of Mad Men was going to be delayed because of the ongoing negotiations between Matthew Weiner (the creator of Mad Men) and AMC. I assumed the negotiations were simply about how much Weiner was getting paid… and maybe that was part of it. But it seems like Weiner negotiated himself an ideal salary, but now the negotiations are stalled on other details. Like, AMC wants Weiner to start firing off some cast members. For. Real. It’s gotten to the point where negotiations are stalling and the whole series might be canceled. UGH.

The “Mad Men” madness has reached a fevered pitch, and a terrible ending may be in the script. The Emmy-winning show is the subject of a bloody battle between creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner and network honchos at AMC. The show has yet to be renewed for a fifth season, and the sides are far apart on a deal.

Money is the issue, Deadline and The Daily report, but it has nothing to do with Weiner’s contract; the two sides were close to agreeing on a two year, $30 million deal for the mind behind the acclaimed period drama. Instead, the struggle involves budgeting in other areas, namely advertising and even actors.

The two publications have sources indicating that AMC wants to cut two minutes from each episode, in favor of more commercials, as well as integrate product placement into the show. Given that it’s set in the 60’s, the kinds of brands that they could include — or at least their labeling — would prove interesting. No consumer electronics, for sure.

Additionally, the network wants to make a major change in the show’s DNA, by cutting two actors to cut costs. Neither of the actors has been revealed.

Predictably, Weiner has balked, and thus, no deal for season five has been made. The show’s actors have been busy doing other projects; star John Hamm appeared in the film “Sucker Punch,” released this weekend, while Christina Hendricks is filming a movie with Sarah Jessica Parker and January Jones will star in this summer’s “X-Men: First Class.”

They may have to find more acting jobs; The Daily says that the network could actually cancel the show. “Weiner is being completely screwed by AMC,” a source told the iPad-only paper. “No one would have heard of AMC if not for Matt Weiner and ‘Mad Men.’ But they will not renew the show unless he accedes to all their demands.”

That’s a change from January, when AMC announced that the show would be back despite the lack of contract. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly at the time, Weiner said, “It would be heartbreaking for me if they don’t work it out, horrifying really. It would be a shame for fans to never get to see what great stuff we have planned for Don and company.” Weiner produces the show with Lionsgate Television.

[From The Huffington Post]

Just give him what he wants. It really is that simple. It’s not even like Weiner wants a truck full of cocaine and hookers on staff to please him. He just wants to make the series he loves, write the characters he created, and just do his job. Let him.

Part of the problem may be that all of this is so new to AMC. Mad Men put their original programming division on the map – and AMC’s original programming would be nowhere without Weiner and Mad Men. AMC simply doesn’t have experience negotiating these contracts, and I think that may be why everything is happening so publicly. Still, my point remains: just give Weiner what he wants.



Promotional images from Mad Men.

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55 Responses to “‘Mad Men’ is close to being cancelled: the end of Don Draper (Hamm Dong)?”

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  1. devilgirl says:


    Edited to add- This goes to show the tv viewer that you can be a loyal watcher of a show, invest a few years in getting into it and knowing the characters (as I bloody well did with Deadwood) and the viewer ends up being the LAST thing that the networks care about. All the networks care about is advertising money, not their viewers. So, in the end, why bother watching anything loyally?

  2. Snowpea says:

    MM has succeeded despite AMC, that’s for sure. AMC has never even quite gotten that whole On Demand thingy down either. I hope Weiner will stick to his guns and go to another network if necessary, I’m sure they’d be happy to have MM, mmmmmkay?

  3. Kaye1 says:

    Must. Have. More. Mad Men. Argh!!!!!

  4. Roma says:

    No. I will write angry emails to AMC. I will send them pictures of the Hamm with his prominent dong circled. I will not let this happen!

  5. lucy2 says:

    That would be such a shame, it’s one of the best shows out there, and full of great talent. Plus, the Hamm factor.

    Considering that show has given a whole new identity to the network, it seems crazy for them to throw away their best asset.

  6. Hattie says:

    just do his job? I mean, they are going to pay him 30mm. I have a hard time seeing Weiner as the victim in that deal.

  7. @Rita says:


    Loved the passion in your post. I swear that was the longest comment I’ve seen you post on any thread. You go girl!!!

    Yes, the best way to screw up a successful show is to have money men mess with it.

    In that top pic, I can see MadDong fantasizing as he watches Kaiser bend over to retrieve the quarter she dropped on the floor. However, he’s smoking so maybe it just the after glow of helping her find her quarter.

  8. Mingy says:

    “How F&)&*$@ stupid is AMC?” is all…

  9. irishserra says:

    Great point, DevilGirl. If this is canceled, AMC can be assured that I will never watch anything on their channel again (not that I do anyway – I don’t even have cable!)

    Why do these shows get canceled, yet we’re inundated with hordes of shit reality shows? Ugh!

  10. launicaangelina says:

    Totally fucked up. Love this show.

  11. Jenna says:

    @Hattie, seriously, 30 f’n million!? Maybe if he whittled that down they wouldn’t have to worry about so many potential cuts.

  12. Jenna says:

    This is what the creator of Sons of Anarchy has to say, and i agree with him.

    “You can’t ask a network for 10 million [dollars], then bitch when they want to expand their ad revenue source”

  13. hstl1 says:

    Who cares, I just never got this show. But, I feel for all of you who will miss it if it is canceled.

  14. devilgirl says:

    @Rita- LOL! Yeah, Mad Men is my favorite show, so I am furious about this situation. Well, as furious about a tv situation as one can get.

  15. irishserra says:

    @Hattie: Noooo! WE are the victims!!! We want Draper!

  16. lucy2 says:

    deadline.com is reporting that the 5th season is a go, though they’re still working out cost saving methods.

    I could see agreeing to 2 more minutes of commercials, but I think it would be a shame if they forced him to cut characters – let the writer/creator tell the story he wants, using the characters he wants! Networks never seem to get that, and it’s usually what the fans want too.
    But I agree that $30 mil/2 years is pretty sweet to the average joe, I’d hope that everyone else can keep their job too.

  17. Karen says:

    I haven’t read any other articles that speak to the exact reasons the negotiations have stalled. However, if it’s true that Matt Weiner has negotiated himself a $30 million salary, I say “good for him”!! Do y’all have any idea how much Mad Men has done for AMC?? Production companies will now approach AMC to get their shit made instead of pitching hard only to HBO. They get to pick and choose which projects they greenlight because of how well they lucked out by saying yes to Weiner. Weiner’s creative mind is why any of us are even talking about AMC so he deserves every single penny. And I love that he is reportedly going to bat for his actors by fighting any attempt to reduce the cast. He will forever earn the loyalty of his actors with this action and I commend him for it.

    All that being said, I still agree with Kaiser: “Give Matt Weiner what he wants and show him the f***ing money!!!!

  18. Iggles says:

    This is ridiculous! Mad Men is AMC’s flagship show! They should shop around for another network, because clearly AMC is delusional! No one would watch their crappy network without that show!

  19. Hautie says:

    They have already did one big massive cut to the cast, season before last.

    And this is a show based in a advertising firm. Where you need to have employees. Faces you recognize.

    So the show is already working with a limited set of characters as it is. So I can not image who else they would fire. Just so AMC can make more money on the back end. They need to cut salaries.

    Cause lord knows it is always about how much money there is to be made. And how much of it AMC gets to keep and not share.

    So maybe a little public shaming of AMC will get this deal done.

    I wonder if Weiner has the ability to move the show to another channel/company. That is if AMC would be so bold as to cancel it.

    HBO would probably throw an insane amount of cash to everyone one involve. In order to have a show like Mad Men for their Sunday schedule.

  20. MNGIRL76 says:

    @ devilgirl-

    I to was beyond heartbroken about Deadwood!! AMAZING show! (shed’s tear)

  21. Myra says:

    Look, I want the show to be renewed and AMC’s demands seem unreasonable, but this,

    “No one would have heard of AMC if not for Matt Weiner and ‘Mad Men.’” is crap. AMC has been around for a while and usually showed movies most people enjoyed. It’s only recently that they’ve been showing crappy films, which may have been around the time they started airing commercials in the first place. If the quote had been about their original programming, I wouldn’t have had a problem.

  22. MNGIRL76 says:

    @ Deavilgirl

    AMC swears Mad Men will not be canceled-
    Thanks for the link!
    I would be sooo pissed if I could not have my martini & Mad Men on Sunday night! It completes my Sunday & makes Monday a little more bearable!

  23. sara says:

    Never liked the show or Hamm.

  24. lisa says:

    Thing is Mad Men may be a good show. sorry I don’t watch.

    but it must not be bringing in the money. If it was say a Two and Half Men.. don’t watch that either but I know it brought in tons of money. then this all would be a mute point. People talk about this show but is it making the network money?

  25. Ron says:

    Please remember, Hollywodd the cporporation only cares about one thing. And it’s not the creators, actors, directors, or the viewers. It’s money, as with all big corporations, the human factor that created them is useless and can be replaced, so they think. 1984.

  26. John Wayne Lives says:

    Please, please don’t let this be true.

  27. manda says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (my reaction to the headline, haven’t even gotten to the article. Maybe another station would buy it???? omg, hopefully)

  28. curmudgeon says:

    This is interesting because I had an AMC issue last night. Remember when it was a commercial free classic movie station? Then Ted Turner came along and took the wind out of its sails because he had all the good stuff in his vault. So last night I had insomnia and I was watching Goodfellas. Commercials literally every seven minutes. I timed them. I went through the lineup to see how long they were stretching a ninety minute to 120 minute film. It was prety hairy. 40 min an hour an hour fifteen.
    Someone at AMC has gotten greedy and s going to drive this new enterprise of theirs into the ground.

  29. Nikita says:

    C’mon, two characters cut for what? to pay for Matt Weiner’s newly inflated salary? Please. AMC can afford it, particularly if product placements (true to the time, tasteful and not intrusive) take place, and one more commercial break, which the second airing won’t have anyway.


    I’m from Ohio, and I do believe I just gave you your compromise 😉

  30. Tracy9s says:

    I would say that I would never watch AMC ever again if they cancel Mad Men, but I love Walking Dead way too much. AMC don’t screw up a good thing, you have loyal fans!! Not may networks can say that anymore. Show us you care and bring Mad Men back now. This year. ASAP. Got it!!!

  31. citysuede says:

    Give. Him. What. He. Wants.

  32. MNGIRL76 says:

    @ Tracy9’s-
    Love Walking Dead as well! kind of obsessed! you should read the comics! I was skeptical at first, but my boyfriend got me The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 1 for Christmas-I couldn’t put it down!
    AMC better not mess with my two favorite shows!

  33. Jenna says:

    Just give him what he wants? Uh, these people are running a business. Mad Men may bring in the accolades, but it definitely does not bring in the viewers. The Walking Dead has better ratings.

  34. Carlotta Love says:

    Not to be a grammar snob (okay, maybe a little- sorry) but it’s MOOT not MUTE. Mute is the inability to speak; moot is when something no longer matters (e.g., a moot point). Someone made this same mistake on here the other day and I’m worried it’s spreading. Eeek!

    That said, if AMC cancels Mad Men, I may have to cancel my sanity and go crazy on that network (not really sure what that involves yet!). How could they?!?!

  35. lady of the lake says:

    It is true that AMC has way too many commercials anyway on their other programming. Can’s MM just move to HBO or Showtime??

  36. Ally says:

    I think these demands are leverage to get Weiner to reduce his salary demands, like “look what we’d have to cut/change to get you your money”.

    They’ll probably settle on $15-$20 mill and back off some of these demands.

    People were upset enough about Sal leaving. Having another character leave because of AMC’s greed would be extra infuriating. Also, don’t they have product placements already? (Though few clients come out looking good.)

    Viewership may be relatively low for Mad Men, but their international and DVD sales must be through the roof. AMC would be majorly stupid to let it go — but then executives, no matter how utterly untalented in anything but business backstabbing, love to meddle in the creative process. Makes them feel less like useless tools.

  37. Pink Elephant says:

    I don’t see Weiner as the victim here – the SHOW will be victim, if they start gutting characters, clipping minutes, and doing the product placement thang. (SO distracting and unwelcome, when there are already too many commercials!) I second:


  38. ezra says:

    NO NO NO NO!!!!
    This is one of the very few excellent shows that we have left!! What the hell IS wrong with AMC??!! Do they want to follow the other network’s leads and produce brain-numbing reality tv crap like Jersey Shore, Sister Wives & the like? Please give those of us who get it intelligent programs. Mad Men is a gem, please don’t throw it away.

  39. lucy2 says:

    AMC certainly was around long before MM, but MM was the starting point of them becoming successful network for original, high quality programming.
    It doesn’t get huge ratings, but does get a lot of awards and media attention, all of which I’m sure has helped establish them and put them in a better position to launch higher rated stuff like the Walking Dead, and get buzz for their upcoming shows.

    Sounds like Season 5 WILL happen, let’s just hope it’s in a good way.

  40. Reality says:

    I love Mad Men, but I don’t see it lasting much longer sadly. I don’t want to see Don in 70’s bell bottoms, sporting mutton chops or a porn ‘stache.

    I’ve also become hooked on Boardwalk Empire, so my affections are waning. I’m fickle like that though….

  41. Steph D says:

    I will be SOOOO heartbroken if this show is cancelled. There are no other shows on TV worth watching. This show is amazing, so stylish, witty, unique and extremely entertaining. For those that haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest you watch the very first episode you will be hooked instantly like I was. I rented the DVDs last year starting from season 1 and I couldn’t stop watching it one after the other. If they leave AMC I bet they will go to another network. What I don’t understand is why on earth they would let Mad Men go when it’s by far their best show, and for crying out loud they can not let anymore cast members go!

  42. lola lola3 says:

    Is AMC pulling a Sheen?!? What the heck is wrong with those people?? MM is the best thing on television and if they cancel it, they are really shooting themselves in the foot.

  43. HotPockets says:

    Breaking Bad is a much, much better show and acted show.

  44. JulieM says:

    Looks like AMC is stepping in it again. I was a huge fan of Rubicon. I think there were three of us which is why it was canceled. An intelligent, well written, well acted, albeit slow moving show which was canceled for the zombie thing. With all due respect to all the Walking Dead fans here, I will not watch it, boycott city. Story matters here, eh, not so much. To cancel Mad Men would be biting the hand that feeds them. Great show.

    Edit- Looks like the outcry may have made a difference. But we will have to wait til 2012

  45. Chris says:

    Can’t he just take his show to a different network if they can’t come to terms?

  46. Bee says:

    Nooooooooooo!!!! If AMC cancels Mad Men I will be done with the network. TPTB at AMC are just full of themselves because of the ratings for The Walking Dead. But, the walking dead could tank next year and their new show The Killing could fail the way Rubicon did. I fear that if Mad Men loses the Emmy to Boardwalk Empire the show might trully be done. Matt Weiner has always been able to leverage the shows awards wins to keep AMC invested in the show. If I don’t find out whatever happen to Don/Megan and with Joan’s pregnancy I’m going to scream.

  47. baby says:

    that would be so unfortunate

  48. Shoe_Lover says:

    Perhaps another network will buy the show. Maybe HBO?

    It would be seriously stupid of AMC to not do everything they can to get this show back on the air. You know you have a hit when The Simpsons are spoofing its opening credits

  49. Hell to the no. I hate this. I hate corporate America. I hate greed and advertising and prfits. And the irony of the show being about irony is so not lost on me. Move the hell over to HBO, the idiots who chose not to pick it up in the first place. Problem solved.

  50. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    If they have to cut two characters, start with his kid. It’s not like he’ll be hurting for money in that event, and it wouldn’t be a viewer problem because nobody would care. I’m the Solution Lady.

  51. Bigfan says:

    take it to Direct TV. done.

  52. Laura says:

    They should get rid of Joan’s husband, he’s on like 3 shows.

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