Mad Men’s fifth series remains in jeopardy
Serious doubts arise as contract talks with creator Matthew Weiner stall
There are growing fears among Mad Men fans on both sides of the Atlantic that a battle over money could prevent series five being filmed this spring
- if ever.
Four series have established it as one of the most admired US television shows ever, up there with The Sopranos. As a result, the show's creator Matthew Weiner has decided he'd like to be better rewarded by producers Lionsgate TV and the channel that commissions it, AMC, before filming starts on series five.
But after months of negotiations over Weiner's "compensation", a stalemate has developed. As one US commentator asked this week, "Do our favourite shows magically get renewed year after year? Today's news suggests not."
Weiner is not only the creator of Mad Men - he's the executive producer, head writer, and basically runs the show.
Meanwhile, the show's leading actors are increasingly in demand for movies. John Hamm, the inimitable Don Draper, features in two films coming out this spring - Sucker Punch and Bridesmaids - and is involved in a third, Friends with Kids, currently in post production.
John Slatterly, who plays character Roger Sterling in the TV series, appears with Emily Blunt and Matt Damon in The Adjustment Bureau, released earlier this month.
As for the female stars, Elisabeth Moss has got a taste for the theatre, sharing the limelight with Keira Knightley in the current West End production of The Children's Hour. She also has three films in post-production.
January Jones also stars in three releases this year, while Mad Men's fiery redhead Christina Hendricks is currently filming I Don't Know How She Does It and has another project, Seconds of Pleasure, with Brendan Fraser, lined up for 2012.
Among those anxiously awaiting news from the Weiner negotiations are Sky TV, who signed up to broadcast Mad Men in the UK after the first four series were shown on the BBC. Watch this space. ·
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