'Mad Men' negotiations 'on the rocks'? Say it ain't so

matthew-weiner-getty-320.jpgSuddenly that deal for "Mad Men's" renewal doesn't look so close after all.

A week ago, reports indicated that creator Matthew Weiner, AMC and producer Lionsgate were on the verge of a new agreement that would officially give Season 5 of "Mad Men" the green light and lock Weiner in for this season and possibly beyond. Now, though, the negotiations appear to have hit a snag and may even be "on the rocks" -- which we're assuming doesn't mean everyone's retired to the bar for a break.

That characterization comes from Deadline, which is reporting that Weiner and AMC and Lionsgate are at odds over a couple of issues: trimming a couple minutes from the show to allow for more commercials, product placement and either cutting two (unnamed) cast members or reducing their jobs from regular to recurring. One source even tells the site that because of those points, "negotiations are about to collapse."

Ouch.

The ad-time issue has come up before. When Weiner last negotiated his contract in 2009, he and AMC reached a compromise: AMC got an extra ad break by running the show a few minutes past the hour. The show has also trimmed its cast before -- Bryan Batt's and Michael Gladis' characters were cut after Season 3.

We're hoping the sides can bridge their differences soon, because we have a feeling that come late July or August, we're going to be experiencing some pretty acute "Mad Men" withdrawal.
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