How much is all the buzz about “Mad Men” worth in Hollywood dollars? Matthew Weiner is about to find out.
The creator and exec producer of AMC’s critical darling is set to make the rounds of the majors in the next few weeks as he shops for a big-bucks overall deal. The timing is hardly accidental, given the approach of Sept. 21’s Primetime Emmy Awards, in which “Mad Men” is a top contender with 16 noms.
Weiner is not contractually committed to “Mad Men” after the end of its sophomore season, now running on AMC. It’s understood that “Mad Men” producer Lionsgate TV and AMC have just begun their discussions on a third-season pickup for the period ensembler. Weiner’s continued involvement with the show, a passion project that he nurtured as a spec for years before getting a yes from AMC, is sure to be part of those talks.
But even if Weiner strikes a pact with another studio for development, he may also cut a new deal with Lionsgate to continue as showrunner on “Mad Men” in its third season. At this point, the only certainty is that the ending to this “Mad Men” cliffhanger will be determined by what the post-strike market for overall deals will bear for the creator of one of the most talked-about drama skeins in years and by the size of the offer that Lionsgate puts on the table for Weiner.
Reps for Weiner and Lionsgate declined comment.