Cabler drops plan to trim most of upcoming season's segs to 45 minutes

Here’s good news for “Mad Men” fans: Episodes for the show’s upcoming season will run a full 47 minutes, not the 45 minutes that had been agreed on earlier this year.

“Mad Men” creator/exec producer Matthew Weiner announced the running time change Friday morning during Variety’s Emmy Elite Showrunners breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The running time of episodes had been a major sticking point earlier this year when Weiner was in tough negotiations with “Mad Men” producer AMC and Lionsgate TV. Back in March, it was announced that the first and last episodes of “Mad Men’s” fifth season would run 47 minutes, as has been the show’s standard since its inception, but the remaining 11 segs would run about 45 minutes to allow for more commercial time. The plan was to make those episodes available at their full 47-minute running time online.

But in the intervening months, the sides came to terms on a 47.05 running time for all segs.

“I don’t know how they managed to make that work out,” Weiner said during the drama showrunners’ panel at the Emmy Elite gathering. “It was a lot of worry. I’m so thrilled.”

AMC insiders indicated that the push for a 45-minute running time on most segs was always more about giving the network flexibility. But clearly, Weiner’s will has won out.

“Mad Men’s” fifth season is expected to bow in March.

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