‘Mad Men’ Season 5 Pushed to 2012

Despite heated contract talks with series creator Matthew Weiner*snorts* - AMC has officially greenlit a fifth season of Mad Men except new episodes won’t air until early 2012 and the network’s official statement still lists the negotiations as “ongoing” which means they could still go to shit at any moment. Via Deadline:

“AMC has officially authorized production of season 5 of Mad Men, triggering our option with Lionsgate. While we are getting a later start than in years past due to ongoing, key non-cast negotiations, Mad Men will be back for a fifth season in early 2012.”

The announcement comes as a surprise because just last night Deadline had reported talks with Weiner – *titters* – were collapsing over some pretty key issues including the $30 million he’s asking to make in the next two years:

Though Weiner is poised to become the highest-paid showrunner on basic cable, we hear that he is objecting to three things AMC/Lionsgate are asking for: integrating product placement into the series, cutting 2 minutes from each episode’s running time in favor of more commercials and eliminating/reducing two regular cast members to save money. Weiner is resisting all of the above. “This is their storied franchise, and they want it shorter and cheaper, with fewer actors and more product integration,” an insider said. “The negotiations are about to collapse as a result.”

Look, I’m no Emmy-winning television writer, but would it kill the integrity of the show if for one episode, the entire cast stayed at a beach house on the Jersey Shore? Not only would it boost ratings, but I think we can all agree it’d be adorable. Christina Hendricks can wear a Bumpit while Jon Hamm runs around showing everyone his abs. “I think we got ourselves a ‘situation’ over here. Also, you’re pathetic.”

Or they can all be vampires. Kids love vampires.

UPDATE: Mediaite reports the show is coming back with or without Matthew Weiner which means less episodes where Don Draper is essentially Tony Soprano? I have no clue.

Photos: Splash News