AMC, Lionsgate, and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have reached an agreement on the future of the show. Weiner has signed a deal to stay with the series for season 5 and season 6, with the option to return for season 7, which is likely to be the last. He'll be given $10m per year for his services.
Weiner's bowed to pressure to cut episodes by two-minutes (down to 45-minutes), although premieres and finales can still be the regular 47-minutes long. It's also an option that episodes streamed online, available via iTunes, or on DVD, will include the extra two-minutes that was filmed but never broadcast. A sort of "Mad Men Uncut."
It's not known if Sky Atlantic will broadcast the unabridged versions in the UK, if that's what Weiner decides to do.
The entire cast are signed on for two more seasons, with nobody losing their job to save the network money. The issue of more product placement appears to have been dropped entirely.
Matthew Weiner, writer/creator:
I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support. 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.Charlie Collier, President of AMC:
AMC's original programming began with a mission to create bold storytelling of the highest quality, and Mad Men was the perfect expression of that commitment. We've been proud to support this show from the day we read Matt's ground-breaking pilot script and have loved building it with Matt and Lionsgate into the cultural phenomenon it has become. For everyone involved in the show and its passionate fans, we are thrilled to announce that the series will continue on AMC under the exceptional vision of Matt Weiner.Mad Men will return in 2012 for season 5, possibly March.