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Matthew Weiner Agrees To 'Mad Men' Deal, Sets End Date For Series

After prolonged and somewhat tense negotiations, AMC has announced a new deal with 'Mad Men' creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner that will keep him onboard for seasons five and six.

The new deal also includes an option extending into a possible seventh season, which Weiner says would be the show's last.

"I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support," says Weiner. "I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning."

Negotiations had extended for months, delaying the return of the show for its fifth season until early 2012.

The two parties compromised in the new deal, which will keep the product integration policy the same but cut the runtime of all episodes except the season premiere and finale so the network can run more ads. Any casting cuts will also be made with the creative path in mind, rather than financial.

"It was never about money," Weiner tells THR. "I was willing to walk away from this, and did so four or five times over the last few days. I have always believed that the success of the show and the reason the audience has grown every year is because of its uniqueness."

"I've never known, even the first season, if I was going to be to back. I'm still going to put everything I have into every episode, but seven seasons seems like the right length for the life of the show and I'm very excited knowing that I have that canvas to paint on."

"I think that's how long the story is. I'm not The Simpsons. They're amazing. I don't know how they do it. I look at TV shows that I admire, and I think this is the length that they should be. At a certain point you're driven to a desire not to repeat yourself. I want the show to end before the machinery has worn out."

"I'm going to take it one year at a time without the distraction to ever have to go through this again."

April 1, 2011 |

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