Even after winning Best Drama Series four times, showrunner and producer Matthew Weiner remains humble in the wake of “Mad Men” potentially setting a record with Emmy #5. “[Awards] are not why we do the show, but of course you have your hopes, you want to be in the conversation about what people think is good on TV. And I never, never thought that we would be recognized that much.” Watch complete webchat below.
“The whole idea of being compared subjectively — which is literally what it is — for the quality of your work is a little bit uncomfortable. But, hey, I’m not giving any of them back!” Weiner jokes to Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and Chris Beachum. “Mad Men” won Best Drama Series four times between 2008 and 2011 and will now contend one final time at the Emmys. If the show wins, it will break the tie it currently shares with “The West Wing,” “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law.”
As for the new Emmy rule that will allow all 18,000 members of the TV academy to vote for Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series, Weiner reveals, “It’s not a ratings vote, it’s a popular vote of people in the TV academy. And they have shown over time that they have their own sort of determination about what they like and sometimes it’s been great for us and sometimes they’ve picked other things.”
If Weiner had the chance to go back and do it all again, would he do anything different with “Mad Men”? “Honestly, the process was so forward-moving and there’s so many decisions that you make quickly that you can’t reevaluate them ever at the time, you cannot look back. So yes, I would do everything differently!”
Also in our chat, Weiner praises his hard-working cast and crew and singles out this year’s Emmy nominees Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks. “Jon Hamm is Tony Soprano to me,” Weiner concludes. “He is one of those big figures who I honestly don’t think we would have made it past the pilot if I didn’t have that guy in there.”
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Photo: Jon Hamm and Matthew Weiner at ‘Mad Men’ finale event. Credit: Rob Latour/REX