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Mad Men Tug-of-War Delays Show to 2012: Who Should Give In?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 29, 2011 at 8:46AM

Last week Jon Hamm warned ominously that we probably won't see another Mad Men until 2012. AMC confirmed that Tuesday, although it has ordered more episodes from Lionsgate. That's way too long: the show has run over the past four summers.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Last week Jon Hamm warned ominously that we probably won't see another Mad Men until 2012. AMC confirmed that Tuesday, although it has ordered more episodes from Lionsgate. That's way too long: the show has run over the past four summers.

The back-and-forth in the media over the now legendary contract renewal tussle between Mad Men creator and showrunner Matthew Weiner and AMC is fascinating to watch. Should we assume that the creative folks are in the right and the corporation suits are by default greedy and evil?

When I read that AMC is trying to lock in product placements, knock minutes off the show to sell more ads, and slice two cast members, I see a company trying to figure out ways to make back its money. If Weiner doesn't want those things to happen--and he shouldn't--why not shave a few of the $30 million he stands to make in the next two years?

That's what negotiating is all about. It's business. And each side is trying to make the best deal they can. While the rest of us poor saps--including the actors on the show-- are held hostage.

This article is related to: TV, AMC


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.