March 14, 2012 5:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner on the Unexpectedly Long Season 5 Premiere (Video)
When Mad Men returns on March 25, viewers will have a two-hour premiere to compensate for the unusually long hiatus.
And though the exact year and circumstances of the new season are not yet up for discussion, creator and showrunner Matthew Weiner tells The Hollywood Reporter that fans can expect a different pace for the series.
"For something that has been the same every episode since its beginning, the length is a huge difference," Weiner told THR ahead of his series' panel at the 2012 PaleyFest. "It is a complete story. The ending of the second episode is related to the beginning of the first episode."
It actually didn't start out as two hours. After breaking the story, Weiner said the script just kept growing.
"We broke a story that was a normal length and I started writing it and it just got very long," he said. "We cut all of this story to even make it the length it was, nearly 100 pages... I wanted it to feel more like first season when there were longer scenes and a little bit more depth."
Few would ever accuse Mad Men of lacking in depth, but his references to the first season raise more questions about what is in store for the show. And Weiner maintains a tight lip about all things plot-related.
"I wish I could tell people more, but I kind of feel like they should get to watch it," he says. "To me, it's like telling a story to a friend. this is one of the things that we have that's unique."
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The extent of the showrunner's involvement is also unique. With his name on most scripts, the constant demand for meticulous detail in establishing the time frame at least one more season on deck, Weiner could easily be considering other options when the series finally ends. But he says he'd like to do another series down the line.
"It's a really good job," he told THR. "I obviously would like to make films, and I write plays, but right now I feel like everybody in every other business seems to want to get into [television] and what they like about it was i like about it."
Watch THR's complete interview with Matthew Weiner above.