ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mad Men Contract Disputes Apparently Resolved -- Now Fix Me a Drink

Things were definitely iffy for those looking for a new season of Mad Men, but now it appears that the new season is a go -- with a slight delay. AMC was in a mess of contract negotiation problems for the award winning  hit summer show.  The contractual issues involved both Lionsgate, the production company behind the show, and Mathew Weiner, the show’s creator.  The new season will begin March 2012 reports the Huffington Post.

Matthew Weiner finally accepted a $30 Million deal for three more seasons of the show after his previous contract expired last October, according to the Los Angeles Times.  The contract calls for two seasons for certain, with the possibility of a third if a majority of the cast sticks around.  Apparently, the sticking points in negotiations included: whether or not to shorten the show by two minutes per episode;  decreasing the cast budget; and additional product placement as previously reported by the New York Times.  The parties reportedly agreed to have the first and last episodes of the season run the usual 47 minutes, while the middle episodes will be shortened.  They also agreed to keep the current cast for at least two years.

The next problem that may occur with the fan base.  Will Mad Men junkies stick around for close to another year? Is the cliffhanger of the 4th Season enough to draw people back in?  Or will the familiar celebratory blend of style, misogyny and alcoholism be enough to keep people glued to their high-definition screens? Tune in in about eleven months to find out.  Meanwhile, for a devastating take on the show’s appeal, see Daniel Medelsohn’s article in the New York Review of Books

[Katherine Freeman and JT]

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