Screenwriter Robert Towne Joins Writing Staff of ‘Mad Men’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Robert Towne Mad Men
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Oscar winner is among new recruits for AMC drama's seventh and final season

Forget it, Don. It’s …”Mad Men.”

Veteran screenwriter Robert Towne (pictured) is among Matthew Weiner’s new recruits to “Mad Men’s” writing staff for the upcoming seventh and final season, which AMC announced Monday will unfold in two seven-episode batches in spring 2014 and spring 2015.

Towne is serving as a consulting producer for the AMC/Lionsgate TV drama series. He won an original screenplay Oscar for 1974’s “Chinatown” (a source of many oft-quoted lines including: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown”). He earned three other Oscar screenwriting noms, for 1973’s “The Last Detail,” 1975’s “Shampoo” and 1984’s “Greystoke: the Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.” Recent credits include “Mission: Impossible II,” “Without Limits” and “Days of Thunder.”

Another film vet, Patricia Resnick (“Nine to Five”), is also on board as a consulting producer. Comedy scribe David Iserson, an alum of “Saturday Night Live” and laffers including “New Girl” and “United States of Tara,” has signed on as a co-producer. And writers’ assistant Carly Wray has been upped to staff writer from writers assistant last season.

Exec producers for season seven, along with creator Matthew Weiner, are Scott Hornbacher and Janet Leahy.

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  1. woodywoodbury says:

    We’re a bunch of hip, cool, retirees in South Florida who are MAD MEN fans, viewers, and buyers of the products advertised during the commercial-breaks. (Some of which are too long by the way—but that’s a minor glitch and probably can’t be helped.)
    We are, however, huge Robert Morris fans and followers; we all light candles and pray he gets more face-time during this 7th season. Morris is one hell of an intelligent and bright television, stage, and motion picture performer—it’s a crying shame he has been used so sparingly.
    Seems the planners, plotters, and writers, forgot who Robert Morris really IS.
    Script-wise and plot-wise he is, after all, a founder of, the CEO of, and head of the entire Ad Agency. As a suggestion, if we are permitted that, we are of the belief that he need NOT be brought into the teary-eyed, soap-opera, segments.
    But when hefty and heavy-handed corporate decisions need be made in various ‘deals’ and acquisitions by his Ad Agency, Robert Morris ought be more than a flower vase on an end table.
    The entire English-speaking world is aware that in real life, Mr. Morris is near retirement.
    But the world also knows that successful enterprises and corporations took daring risks to attain their goals, and it’s the older guys like Robert Morris who when they were young lions, had the belly and balls to take the risks.
    In other words and whether it’s MAD MEN’s last season or not, using this talented man will surely offer more tenacious validity and “legs” to your production.
    We’d hate to see MAD MEN leave the airwaves on a crying jag…we feel the nation’s viewers feel the same.
    Regardless of the writers, staff, and actors presently employed and getting paid, it is sometimes easier for some of them to bypass and miss feeling the negatives. In real life, our American population is going through more upheaval, distress, and heartbreak, than they need.
    For MAD MEN to meet its demise as an abject failure should be the most remote thought to enter a writer’s brain.
    Thanks for reading through this consensus.

  2. I’m sure the Jacquemettons are still there, right?

  3. harry georgatos says:

    Towne for me did his best writing with CHINATOWN. THE TWO JAKES was just okay without a domineering villain like John Huston from CHINATOWN. TEQUILA SUNRISE didn’t work. Was one of a number of writers on his best script since CHINATOWN in THE FIRM. THE YAKUZA script could have been better. Towne’s two biggest disappointments were the first two MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE scripts that were horrible and underwhelming. So next stop is cable?

  4. Jiminy Critic says:

    Robert Towne writes comedy?

  5. - says:

    I… holy crap. I was kind of annoyed about what they’ve done in splitting the season up – especially considering that by the end of it we only get one more episode than we would have done anyway but have to wait an extra year for the final 7 – but this news is amazing.

  6. Spike says:

    Rock on, Matthew! Excellent choice! Can’t wait to see those episodes Towne writes.

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