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What longer 'Mad Men' episodes mean: More ads, preserved creativity!

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According to today’s Variety, episodes in Mad Men‘s upcoming third season are set to run past the regularly scheduled hourlong timeslot by a few minutes. (Plus: AMC announced the season’s start date of Aug. 16. Woot!) Why are we getting more Mad Men? Well, it seems that AMC needed to sell more advertising to pay for the series’ higher fees, as aging series tend to cost more. (Stars/producers/everyone involved can demand more because, well, you just can when you’re working on an Emmy-winning series!) So, really, we’re just getting more advertising.

And to this news I say: Yay! Why am I cheering about more ads, you might be asking yourself? (I hate ads generally!) Plain and simple: It means that creator Matthew Weiner’s genius doesn’t have to be sacrificed. You see, usually more advertising means fewer minutes of drama, as the precious time is forfeited to the likes of Chase and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Mad Men already has the generous run time of 47-48 minutes per episode, while most cable series have 44-46 minutes and broadcast usually allots just 42-43 minutes. But I’d argue that in the case of Mad Men — rife with all those episode-ending, moody moments where the camera pans out as the characters quietly contemplate their predicaments — needs every minute it is given. You agree, I hope? This is one moment where Hollywood’s business — and creative — interests both win.

As a preview of the upcoming season — and celebration of the preservation of creativity — I present you a little video that sort of looks forward to what may come:

Salvator may take a trip to the Village? (You know what his closeted character will be doing down there!) Betty Draper keeping things unhappy? (Yes, please!) Roger Sterling just hoping to survive? (No more heart attacks!) I’ll take it all, even though all this is just random speculation by the cast. Believe me, we ain’t getting any leaks about what season 3 will truly entail. Matthew Weiner just doesn’t roll that way.

What say you, PopWatchers? Are you willing to endure a few more ads so that Mad Men can continue to be at its best? What intrigues you about season 3? Do you already have Aug. 16 circled in red on your TV-planning calendar?

More ‘Mad Men’ from EW:
‘Mad Men’ Season 1 review
Ausiello Files: Interview with ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner
‘Mad Men’: 10 Things Viewers Need to Know
‘Mad Men’: Creator will stay with show
Hot Starts: 22 Summer TV Classics

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