People involved in the talks suggested this week that one or both deals may be imminent, but that may not be enough to ensure a summer start date. Todd Gold, the editor in chief of XfinityTV.com, said it was becoming clear that the show was "right on the cusp of going one way or the other."
"By now, the writing staff should be humming along, maybe about a month or more into work for a summer premiere," he said. "Unless Weiner is secretly manufacturing outlines in preparation of some crazy all-night writing sessions with his staff, it might be time for fans to grow concerned."
The hold-up in starting production on a season of the series is nothing new, but never have negotiations lasted this long:
"Mad Men" was held up by negotiations once before, after the second season in October 2008. At the time Variety called it "one of the most protracted negotiations in memory," and that time it was settled by the following January.
This time the negotiations started last summer before Season 4 even had its premiere, and they have extended into the spring. AMC retained Jim Jackoway, an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, to represent it; he confirmed this week that he remained in AMC's employ regarding "Mad Men" but could not comment further.
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