By James Hibberd
Updated March 22, 2011 at 04:54 PM EDT
Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images
  • TV Show
  • AMC

The usual summer premiere of AMC’s Mad Men will likely be delayed. The network, series creator Matthew Weiner and studio Lionsgate are close to a deal for the upcoming fifth season, but protracted negotiations have pushed the production’s usual schedule.

The show typically starts shooting in the spring and debuts in July, but without an agreement for a new season in place the company will probably have to delay debuting the next batch of episodes. AMC had no comment. But EW recently asked star Jon Hamm at The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump about the season’s storyline, and he said, “I don’t know if it even exists.”

“We’re still in limbo,” Hamm said. “Usually we start shooting in April or May, and it doesn’t seem like it’s happening now because the writers’ room is not in place.”

That said, we keep being told that a deal is “very close,” despite Weiner and Lionsgate reportedly holding out for a bigger payday on the modestly rated, yet critically beloved, series.

Weiner told EW in January, seemingly referring to AMC and Lionsgate: “They are fighting over a very lucrative property, and who is going to pay for it to get made; it’s one of the biggest perils of success — everyone wants a piece of it now, and they are fighting over who is gonna get the biggest chunk.” (Additional reporting by Christian Blauvelt)

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Mad Men

Jon Hamm stars as Don Draper in the Emmy-winning ’60s-set drama
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