Earlier this week, AMC and Lionsgate finally signaled their intent to continue producing "Mad Men" by officially renewing the series for a fifth season. However, negotiations with "Mad Men" creator and showrunner, Matt Weiner had reached a standstill over budget cuts, product placement and other issues.
While things appeared bleak for a few days, the two sides have since reached an accord that will pay Weiner between $25 to $30 million for three additional seasons, which would give "Mad Men" a seven season run. AMC also gave the greenlight for season six, but the new deal almost certainly means that a seventh season is secure with Weiner on board.
“I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support." said Weiner in a statement. "I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning. I'm excited to get started on the next chapter of our story."
"I walked away from it 4-5 times in the last few days," Weiner admitted to Deadline "It's never been about money… I wanted to do the show I wanted to do and the show the audience has come to expect."
Weiner was able to reach a compromise with the network about the length of the show, which will remain 47 minutes for the season premiere and the season finale, while the remaining episodes of the year will be 45 minutes on AMC. But Weiner will be allowed to make a 47 minute cut of every episode for release on DVD and On Demand. Additionally, Weiner was able to secure his cast for the next three seasons without any forced cuts.
"These will be the last 3 seasons [of 'Mad Men'] added Weiner. "I'm going to take it one year at a time without the distraction to ever have to go through this again… I'm incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support and overwhelmed that I get to finish telling the stories I want to tell."
With the protracted delay due to the negotiations, "Mad Men" season five will not return until March 2012. Production on the new season is expected to begin in July.