Negotiations between Mad Men creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner and AMC and Lionsgate Television have reached an impasse, which has delayed the production start of the popular show's 5th season.
Matthew Weiner objects to a few points in the deal, which would pay him an outstanding $30 million over two years. Matthew Weiner is objecting to three things AMC/Lionsgate are asking for: integrating product placement into the series, cutting 2 minutes from each episode's running time in favor of more commercials and eliminating/reducing two regular cast members to save money.
The delay in closing a new deal with Matthew Weiner has already pushed the scheduled production start on Season 5 and will lead to the Emmy-winning period drama missing its target summer premiere date.
Matthew Weiner was in a similar standoff with AMC over extra 2 minutes of commercial load on the show 2 years ago. Ultimately, the two sides agreed to let the episodes run over into the 11 PM hour so extra ad time could be added without having to shorten the scripts. Those defending losing two minutes of Mad Men to commercials point out that Mad Men's running time will still be longer than 90% of basic cable drama series.