Don Draper might make it to the 1970s after all. After a protracted standoff, AMC, Lionsgate and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have reached an agreement for seasons five and six of the Emmy-winning drama.
Weiner, who will return as showrunner, has also signed a new long-term deal with Lionsgate. As a result of the negotiations, however, season five isn’t expected to air until March of next year.
Weiner signed a deal that’s worth about $10 million per year. The creator compromised slightly on issue of the show’s running time, agreeing to the show running two minutes shorter in all epiosdes (45 minutes) when on AMC except the fifth season’s premiere and finale (47) — with an option for Weiner to turn in 47-minute episodes for other platforms like VOD and DVD. The main cast is signed on for two more season and no more cuts are expected there.
The deal was originally supposed to be for three seasons, but the cast isn’t yet signed for a seventh season so that’s being tabled for the time being. But everybody thinks that now that Weiner is on board, a seventh season will happen. Weiner is also telling media outlets that the seventh season will be the final one for the show.
“I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support,” Weiner said in a statement. “I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning. I’m excited to get started on the next chapter of our story.”
“AMC’s original programming began with a mission to create bold storytelling of the highest quality, and Mad Men was the perfect expression of that commitment,” Charlie Collier, president of AMC, said in a statement. “We’ve been proud to support this show from the day we read Matt’s ground-breaking pilot script and have loved building it with Matt and Lionsgate into the cultural phenomenon it has become. For everyone involved in the show and its passionate fans, we are thrilled to announce that the series will continue on AMC under the exceptional vision of Matt Weiner.”