AMC renews 'Mad Men' for a fourth season

Show's third season premiered to record numbers

The madness continues.

AMC has given an early renewal to its flagship series "Mad Men." The fourth-season pickup comes on the heels of the show's Season 3 premiere, which drew a record 4.5 million viewers Aug. 16.

"It's been extremely gratifying to see 'Mad Men' develop into such a pop-cultural phenomenon with such a passionate fan base," said Charlie Collier, AMC's president and GM.

The series is the reigning champ at all major award shows. It is nominated for 16 Emmys this year -- the most for any drama series -- including outstanding drama series, lead actor in a drama (Jon Hamm), supporting actor in a drama (John Slattery) and lead actress in a drama (Elisabeth Moss).

Creator Matthew Weiner, who has four of the five drama series writing nominations, already is locked in for the fourth season as part of the wide-ranging deal with "Mad Men" producer Lionsgate he inked this year.

" 'Mad Men' continues to surpass all expectations with each new season, and the series has become a signature show for Lionsgate around the world," Lionsgate's TV president Kevin Beggs said.

Set in 1960s New York, the drama follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue's Sterling Cooper ad agency. The cast also includes January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser and Christina Hendricks.
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