There's a trouble brewing in the negotiations between "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner and AMC/Lionsgate Television. Deadline is reporting that talks "are suddenly on the rocks" because Weiner is objecting to three things that the network and the studio are demanding from him.
The negotiations are done in order to lock a fifth season in time for the network's April upfront meetings with advertisers. AMC, which owed most its success to the series, wants integrated product placement into the series, 2 minutes cut from each episode's running time in favor of more commercials and the elimination of two regular cast members to save money.
Weiner agreed to none of the points as an insider said, "This is their storied franchise, and they want it shorter and cheaper, with fewer actors and more product integration. The negotiations are about to collapse as a result."
Back in 2009, Weiner and AMC had been at odds regarding the two extra minutes of commercials. After a discussion that caused a delay to the third season, they agreed on adding extra minutes in each episode. The show ran a little over an hour, which is more than 5 minutes longer than many basic cable hours.
This time, negotiations are stalled but reps for the network said that they will continue to find the middle. As a result, there's a possibility that the fifth season's production would not start in time for summer premiere date.