Emmys: 'Mad Men' and 'Silicon Valley' Scribes Reveal How to Write a Finale

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Matthew Weiner, Alec Berg

Matthew Weiner and Alec Berg break down key moments in the scripts that landed them on Emmy's roster.

A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 28 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

This year’s Emmy-nominated scribes agree: Writing a finale is no easy feat. Recently, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was tasked with wrapping up seven seasons of the AMC critical darling, while Silicon Valley’s Alec Berg had the (albeit slightly less stressful) chore of tying up the second season of the HBO comedy breakout.

Weiner, who is nominated twice in the writing category, reveals key steps in his writing process, including the two objects on his desk that helped him look toward the ending of the show, the note he got from his co-writer (and fellow nominee) Semi Chellas that made him smile and why he left the Coca-Cola ad out of the finale script.

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For his part, Berg annotates two pages from season two's 10th episode, “Two Days of the Condor,” chronicling the changes made from the first to final draft, ad-libbed lines and the story behind that Manny Pacquiao joke.

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