Matthew Weiner speaks out on ‘Mad Men’ showdown

Following up on AMC’s announcement that the fifth season of “Mad Men” will return in early 2012, creator Matthew Weiner (photo, left) spoke to fan site Basket of Kisses about why his name was missing from the press release. “There’s been a lot of speculation and misinformation in the press about what is going on,” he told them. “I want the fans to know directly from me that I had nothing to do with this delay and it is not about money. I am fighting for the cast and for the show. And I appreciate the kindness and concern of the fans.”

Weiner revealed that, despite rumors to the contrary, negotiations have just begun: “We didn’t have an actual conversation until three weeks ago.” He made it clear that cast cutbacks have been for reasons other than cost issues: “Even though people have left the show, none of that has ever been about money…I’ve brought the show in on budget. I’ve been a good producer.” As for his rumored $30 milion offer, Weiner refuted that number and said: “I offered to have less money, to save the cast, and to leave the show in the running time that it’s supposed to be. The harder that I’ve fought for the show, the more money that they’ve offered me.”

As an executive producer of “Mad Men,” Weiner has shared in the three consecutive Emmy victories for Best Drama Series. More tellingly, he has received a “written by” credit on three-quarters of the 52 episodes of “Mad Men” to date with eight of these landing Emmy bids resulting in three wins. None of the 13 scripts that he did not help craft were nominated. Among the most talked-about episodes of this year’s Emmy-contending fourth season was “The Suitcase” which Weiner wrote on his own. Weiner also soloed on the season-opener “Public Relation” and is credited as a co-writer on eight of the other 11 episodes.

Weiner’s solo effort on the pilot script won him the 2008 Emmy for Best Drama Series Writing; he shared another bid that year with Robin Veith for “The Wheel.” In 2009, Weiner shared the Emmy win with co-writer Kater Gordon for “Meditations In An Emergency.” Weiner had three other nominations that year: on his own for “The Jet Set,” with Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton on “Six Month Leave” and with Veith for “A Night to Remember.” Last year, he and Veith contended for “Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency” and he won his third Emmy in a row for “Shut The Door. Have A Seat.” co-written with Erin Levy. 

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