Could 'Mad Men' be an Emmy winner without Matt Weiner?
"If Matt Weiner does not agree to a new deal, AMC and Lionsgate have signaled they are prepared to continue to produce 'Mad Men' without him," reports the Los Angeles Times. The stalled talks mean that the show, which usually starts its 13-episode run in the summer, now won't air its fifth season until early 2012. People close to the show think March is the earliest it could be back on the air.
Obviously, this is a tough network ploy to gain advantage in their negotiations. It's crazy to think they'd continue "Mad Men" without Weiner, but NBC continued "The West Wing" sans Aaron Sorkin. And the network paid a hefty price at the Emmys. After winning in the drama-series race for four years in a row under Sorkin's leadership, "The West Wing" consistently lost the top race after his departure.
"Mad Men" has won the Emmy for drama series for the last three years and has an excellent shot at prevailing again -- if it can conquer recent Golden Globe champ "Boardwalk Empire."
Assuming it triumphs again, the March 2012 launch date for Season 5 is good news, because it's much more Emmy friendly. The next 13 episodes will air during the tail end of the awards eligibility period, which concludes May 31 every year. Previous seasons spanned July to October or August to November.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner and wife Linda Brettler after the 2009 Emmy Awards. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times