I don’t watch SNL on a regular basis.
I gave up on The Simpsons a long time ago (even Treehouse(s) of Terror)
I love me some Mad Men.
So who’s disappointing me this week?
Not SNL. Here’s Don Draper’s Guide to Picking up Women:
Not The Simpsons. Here’s their version of the Mad Men show open:
It takes a lot to shock me when it comes to Hollywood business. But this is lunacy. I’ve confirmed that Lionsgate execs are calling Hollywood agencies looking for a showrunner to replace Matthew Weiner, the brilliant creator of Mad Men. The reason is that they think Weiner’s agents at CAA are asking for too much money for him. I hear CAA wants a multi-year deal that pays Weiner $10 million a year. (As opposed to what people tell me is the $2.5 million he should probably pocket…) Plus he wants control over promotion and advertising. Now that’s consistent with a big hit on pay cable and what Darren Star or David Chase made on HBO. But it’s way, way rich for a Lionsgate show on AMC, and execs are telling CAA it can’t pay that. “The ‘ask’ was insanity,” one insider tells me. “It’s preposterous. AMC is a basic cable network. The economics don’t support this. It’s why Lionsgate is throwing their arms up in the air. And, remember, they got a two-year pickup for the show with or without Matt Weiner.” So Lionsgate picked up the phone and began asking the tenpercenteries for a “general list” of possible showrunners, and about the availability of specific names (like Aaron Sorkin). The agents’ reactions were exactly like mine: are these suits NUTS?
Sure, AMC doesn’t have the numbers now, but they’ve got all the pop culture buzz in the world and their numbers are improving. Please, don’t let Lionsgate pursue this folly any further. Negotiate with Weiner and make some more great TV.
I think there are some really cool advertising opportunities/sponsorships (duh!) that AMC has yet to explore and that Weiner could really help with.
I also have to believe that the accolades, the Twitter brouhaha and, oh yes, the quality of the show will garner more eyeballs in the future. Plus, would it kill AMC to run it at a time when the broadcast season isn’t siphoning viewers?