Thanks to those ugly contract negotiations between AMC and showrunner Matt Weiner, it’s been over a year since the last episode of Mad Men aired. But patient fans will be rewarded soon, as the fifth season of the stylish AMC drama is set to premiere just over a month from today. To remind you of that fact, AMC has released a series of teasers featuring key players Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), Joan (Christina Hendricks), Roger (John Slattery), Betty (January Jones), Pete (Vincent Kartheiser), and of course, Don (Jon Hamm). Watch them after the jump.

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Now that we’re past all that drama surrounding AMC’s very public fights with its esteemed showrunners, we can turn our attention to simply looking forward to new installments of some of the network’s most beloved series. After the jump, check out a violent new promo for Season 2 of The Walking Dead, which returns this fall, and read about the extended running time for Season 5 of Mad Men, which returns in the spring.

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Audiences have called Don Draper many things: genius, alcoholic, womanizer, and one of the best characters on TV. One thing the main character of Mad Men has never been called though is a zombie killer, but that might be more true than not. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the new $10 million-per-season contact AMC has signed with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner could be the reason why Frank Darabont left one of AMC’s other hit shows, The Walking Dead. The article says AMC is spending so much on Mad Men they’ve been forced to make cuts on other shows, such as $250,000 per episode from the second season of The Walking Dead. Breaking Bad is also feeling the results. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The fifth season of Mad Men has had a difficult birthing process. Series creator Matthew Weiner last signed a contract with AMC and LionsGate two years ago, and the show’s massive success since then led him to ask for much more favorable terms before signing to make a fifth season. AMC and LionsGate naturally have tried to negotiate, and the deal has been taking a lot of time to come together.

But things are reportedly lining up now, with both sides starting to agree on a contract. That means that Mad Men will likely get a fifth season, but the downside is that it won’t premiere in late July as per usual, or even in August as happened with season three. Exactly when we’ll see the series resume is open to question, but the important thing is that it currently looks that that will happen. More as it develops. [Deadline]

After the break, Dick Cheney is likely the subject of a new HBO mini-series, and there’s a new promo for Falling Skies. Read More »

We’re mere days removed from the season four finale of Mad Men and show creator Matthew Weiner is already getting busy – but not with Don Draper. Word is that his directorial debut film, You Are Here (not to be confused with I’m Still Here or I’m Not There), is once again ramping up production with Jack Black, Matt Dillon and Renee Zellweger all attached to star. There’s also reportedly an offer out to Rachel McAdams. After the jump, we’ll tell you what the film is all about and more. Read More »

An Uncanny Similarity Between Mad Men and The Office

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When the season finale of Mad Men was over, there was a minor tinge of déjà vu that I couldn’t immediately pin down. Hours later, it occurred to me that one of the major twists in the finale shared several fun similarities to The Office (Scranton Branch). In fact, up until the epiphany, I had never considered Don Draper to be every bit the serious, hip and fair boss that Michael Scott is delighted to find in the mirror each morning when he combs back his hair. As is /Film’s reader friendly policy, spoilers ahead

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Since no one on the Internet is discoursing on the season three finale of Mad Men, the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, has decided to do just that in a new interview. After the jump, we’ll dive into Weiner’s candid explanations for the massive changes that went down last Sunday and how they may or may not bleed into season four. We also intertwine our thoughts on the finale and our opinion of the entire season.

Before we get into that, the trades report that Weiner’s directorial movie debut, You Are Here, has been delayed until 2011. The primary cast for the romantic comedy, which includes Jennifer Aniston, Zach Galifiankis, and Bradley Cooper, is said to still be aboard the project. Though no further details are given on a time frame, Mad Men‘s fourth season is cited as the reason for the production’s delay. Weiner also has a very-active film deal set up at Lionsgate.

But what of Sunday? Make no mistake, Mad Men is a great series, but we did find the finale, while exciting and epic, to underscore a problem observed throughout this season: Weiner’s ambitious decision to explore Don Draper‘s adulterous domestic life and his need to load up on peripheral characters outside of Sterling Cooper has dulled our connection to the actual Mad Men. It’s not that they’re exceedingly selfish bastards—we’re cool with that—but some of them now border on office dressing. Blasphemy you say? “Shut the Door, Have a Seat,” and let us know your opinions in the comments. Spoilers below and my comparison of Mad Men to The Office

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As the acclaim, status, and ratings coalesce for Mad Men, the series’ ambitious characters continue to encounter myriad divides—cultural, familial, and geographic—that attempt to emotionally pull them apart bit by bit. On Sunday, the AMC original series put two W’s on the board at The Emmys, for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing – Drama, in addition to 16 noms. Sunday also marked the airing of the third season’s sixth episode, which in retrospect is wittily entitled, “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency.” Previous eps this season were noted for subtle tributes to Stanley Kubrick—in particular a dream-like scene at an empty bar that recalled the The Shining-–and with “Guy” the season finally unleashed a geyser of completely unexpected and genuine horror.

It made for a fantastic if high-wire jolt courtesy of creator/writer Matthew Weiner and Co. In an ep that featured recurring, symbolic imagery of lamps and lights being turned on and off, the showmmakers chose to leave them on near the end, better for viewers to bask in collective shock. The mouths of characters and audiences simultaneously agape, in an instant Sterling Cooper’s offices seemed different but the same; viewers watched on as the company’s shark-like Manhattanites lobbed dark, telling jokes about the incident. So aggressive was the ep’s horrific flourish that I almost interpreted it as an Emmy-primed challenge to any would-be competitors come next year. Let’s take a look at where a few of Mad Men‘s characters stand in the messy aftermath and where they might be headed. Spoilers and a spoiler-tastic GIF to follow…

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