My two favorite TV dramas these days are Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Both are on AMC. I don’t like The Walking Dead, but I love that it was a project AMC wanted. In other words, I think AMC is a cool network. Yet the latest news coming from Deadline and The Daily – regarding Mad Men – is painting them in a decidedly uncool light.
Once more creator Matthew Weiner is battling with network bigwigs, endangering the possibilities of a fifth season renewal. Last time things got tricky behind-the-scenes for Mad Men it was simply because Weiner wanted more money/etc. But this time the two sides have already settled on a juicy two-year $30 million deal for Weiner. So what’s the beef then?
Apparently AMC wants to cut two minutes from every episode to make room for more commercials. They also want to integrate product placement in the show itself. Worse yet, AMC wants two actors cut from the show to save money. I can’t imagine the two minutes from the show or the product placement are what is chapping Weiner’s wiener. The two minutes thing is stupid, but I’m sure that could be worked around. And product placement frankly seems easy. It’s a show about advertising after all. But cutting two actors just seems miserly. And keep in mind, cutting smaller re-occurring side characters can’t possibly save the show a noticeable amount of money. Surely AMC is talking about cutting central cast members.
So things are currently at a standstill, with neither side budging.
Now, realistically, I can’t imagine AMC would be stupid enough to cancel Mad Men. I can imagine Weiner being a hardass/badass and walking off into the sunset. But I can’t imagine AMC pointlessly giving up on one of the most pop-culturally relevant scripted series in recent memory, just because they’re trying to make an extra buck. So I wouldn’t get too worried. The real tragedy here, is that even if the show does get renewed for another season, we probably won’t get to see it until 2012! Boooo!