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March 29, 2011 - April Diodato
Don Draper wouldn't stand for this.
Fans of AMC's game-changing hit drama "Mad Men" have been anxiously awaiting an update on the status of season 5, the subject of network negotiations for months now. January Jones (who plays ice princess Betty Draper on the show), mentioned an a recent interview that filming for the next season — which typically takes place in the spring, with the season premiere in the summer — hasn't even begun yet. If you've watched season 4, you know there is good reason to start losing sleep over this.
Finally, AMC has released a statement that the show WILL return for a fifth season... in early 2012. The reason for the delay is money, and it's AMC network execs v. Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men" executive producer and creator. In order to cut costs, AMC wants to give two actors the axe, cut each episode down by two minutes to make more room for ads and amp up product placement. It's more than ironic that disputes related to advertising are preventing a show about a Madison Avenue ad agency from returning for another season.
Weiner and his “Mad Men” are like the Don Draper of AMC. And just as Sterling Cooper and, more recently, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, gave Draper free reign because they knew that he was the agency's most important asset, AMC should adopt a similar attitude about Weiner and co. Here's why:
1.“Mad Men” singlehandedly put AMC on the map. There is absolutely no question about that. Was anyone tuning in for those low-rent “AMC classics” and the occasional informercial?
2.“Mad Men” is not only one of the best shows, if not THE best show on television. From the acting to the writing to the meticulous attention to detail on every prop and costume, the high quality of the show is undeniable. Because of this, the show has won countless accolades – and AMC gets to enjoy the glory, publicity and increased value. Which brings me to my next point...
3.The show is a bonafide cultural phenomenon. From its influence on trends in fashion and beyond, the show has spawned Barbie collector dolls and a clothing line, and revived interest in all things related to the 1960s – the evidence of which is everywhere.
AMC, like Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, should just let Weiner do his thing. If he wants to take a page out of Draper's book and take in a foreign film during the work day, get more than a little sauced before, during and after a meeting, or perhaps take an impromptu California vacation for a week or two, then let him. The network is nothing without him.
Don Draper's like, "Are you kidding me?"