Before you Mad Men fans pop open any more bubbly to celebrate the show's big win at the Golden Globes, you should know: The future of the AMC hit is in danger, according to the show's mastermind, Matt Weiner, who is not signed on to continue with the series.
"I don't know anything about next season—I don't even know if it's happening," he told us ominously at the InStyle Golden Globes afterparty, adding that the show's fate right now is "unknowable."
OK, but Mad Men is one of the most lauded shows on television, not to mention a huge coup for AMC, and now a multiple Golden Globe winner, so it has to go on, right? What exactly is going on?
"You know me, I'm very forthcoming," Weiner said when asked why negotiations have taken so long. "And I don't even know what to tell you. I don't know what to say…I've done everything I can. That's all I can tell you."
So when might it be sorted out? "I have no idea. I'm surprised we don't know already."
Funny, something tells me the fans are thinking the same thing.
Sources close to the series tell me negotiations reached a stalemate several weeks ago, but AMC and Weiner's reps are actively working to resolve the remaining issues (among them, not surprisingly, compensation) and get Weiner on board for at least two more seasons of the ultra-hip series.
Despite the stalemate, AMC president Charlie Collier announced at the TV Critics Assocation Press Tour last week that Mad Men will be coming back this summer for the third season—with or without Weiner.
"Lionsgate [TV] continues to be in negotiations with Matt, so I won't go too deep into an active negotiation," Collier said. "But we remain optimistic that Matt will be part of the show, and third quarter has always been our plan" for the season three premiere.
And yet the network and studio may meet resistance from the Mad Men cast if they attempt to continue the series without Weiner. Backstage at the Golden Globes, fiery Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway) put her support for Weiner on record, saying: "There is no show without Matthew."
Agree? Disagree? Sound off with your thoughts on Mad's big win and potential big loss below…
—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin and Joal Ryan