'Mad Men' Will Return for Three More Seasons, With the Same Cast, and (Almost) No Product Placement

The drama surrounding Mad Men is over, for now. After weeks of negotiations, Matthew Weiner, creator of the Emmy-winning series, has struck a deal with AMC that will allow the much-delayed fifth season to begin production and ensure the show's future for the next three years.

Earlier this week, it was reported that AMC wanted Weiner make several changes to the show to make it more profitable: The network asked him to cut two cast members, increase the amount of product placement in the show, and shorten each episode by two minutes to allow for more commercials. Deadline reports that Weiner got AMC to back off on all these stipulations, except for one:

Now, "the cast is safe from financial concerns" for all 3 seasons, Weiner said, adding that he reserves the right to cut actors "on creative basis." In terms of product placement, Weiner said that there will be no changes to the series' existing policy. He noted that there have been only 3 instances of product placement in Mad Men's first four seasons. "I don't want the audience to feel they are being sold on the show," he said. Additionally, Weiner will be able to continue to do 47-minute versions of Mad Men's 13-episode Season 5 for VOD, DVD and all auxiliary platforms, though on AMC, Episodes 2-12 will air 45-minute cuts made by Weiner. (The season premiere and finale will remain 47 minutes.)

There is one detail, however, that remains up in the air: When season five will premiere:

Weiner had insisted on a 2011 Season 5 premiere but he said AMC had informed him back in October that, because they have 4 series to accommodate, no premiere before March 2012 would be possible.

Deadline also reports that Mad Men will end after the next three seasons.

Read the full story at Deadline.

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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