Mad Men saved as AMC signs Matthew Weiner to three-season deal

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If you're a Mad Men fan, you probably reached grimly for your scotch at this week's reports that AMC and creator Matthew Weiner were engaged in a Duck Phillips-inspired desk-shitting competition of a contract dispute, with the cable network allegedly demanding Weiner add more product placement, trim episode lengths by two minutes, and cut two cast members per season.

Well, you can now quit drinking, although you probably won't. (I know this is a complicated metaphor; like Mad Men itself, this post is rich in subtext.) According to the AV Club, Variety, Deadline, and Hitfix, AMC and Weiner have settled their differences, with Weiner signing a three-season deal, although it also sounds like AMC got a lot of what it wanted — episodes will now be two minutes shorter on air, with longer versions filmed for on-demand and presumably DVD releases, and the show's product placement may become more obvious. (Score one for Secor Laxatives.) As of yet, no cast members will be cut. Maybe they should just have Jon Hamm play every character — he's versatile.

Bottom line, more Mad Men! Whoo! Season five will premiere in (less whoo) March of 2012; Weiner says he's planning for season seven to be the last. How many mistresses will Don Draper accumulate by the 1970s? It sounds like we may be so lucky as to find out.

(Above: This man is a winner.)