“Mad Men” Creator May Not Return For Season 3

“Mad Men” season three will begin in the summer on AMC, but the period show might have a new executive at the helm. Creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner has been in prolonged contract negotiations with producer Lionsgate TV since his contract expired at the end of season two. And both parties seem to be exploring other options. Although Weiner said he wants to continue with the show, he is formulating a plan B. He’s met with several studios in hopes of securing a development pact, which could pay $2 million per year. Meanwhile, Lionsgate has been contacting talent agencies to find a new person to run the show. Replacing Weiner could be a tricky move for Lionsgate because Weiner was a hands-on executive producer, and his tone pervades the series, according to Entertainment Weekly. The series won a Golden Globe last year for its first season and has been nominated again under the leadership of Weiner.

AMC president Charlie Collier said “Mad Men” will be ready for a summer launch as long as writers start working on the show soon. But he added he’s optimistic about an agreement between Weiner and Lionsgate.

But Weiner is only the tip of the iceberg as far as “Mad Men” contract trouble goes. Both Jon Hamm (Don Draper) and John Slattery (Roger Sterling) are currently renegotiating their contracts. On the one hand, you’d think these actors could get any reasonable amount of money since they’re so connected to the show. But then on the other hand, “Mad Men” doesn’t draw too many viewers, about three million at best…But it is the best show on AMC.

We can’t envision a “Mad Men” without Don Draper, although he did seem to quit Sterling Cooper in the season two finale, or Roger Sterling, so we’re anxious to have all the contracts, including Weiner’s, settled.