'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Nears Deal for Fifth Season

12:32 PM PST 03/22/2011 by Marisa Guthrie

But the Emmy-winning show will still be delayed because production needs a few weeks to ramp up.

Don’t expect to see a new season of Mad Men this summer. Lionsgate and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner may be close to a new deal, but it won’t be soon enough to get the Emmy-winning show back on the schedule for its traditional summer premiere.

Mad Men usually begins shooting in late April or early May. And although sources say Weiner is close to a lucrative new pact with the Lionsgate, they will need at least several weeks to ramp up.

Two years ago, when Wiener’s negotiations with Lionsgate dragged into January, Mad Men did not bow until August.

Not that AMC does not have options. The network will bow new series The Killing April 3. And Breaking Bad is slated to for a fourth season premiere in July. Breaking Bad has also been delayed from its traditional spring premiere, which means that by the time the Bryan Cranston starrer returns it will not have had new episodes on for more than a year.

But clearly AMC execs anticipated the Mad Men delay.

In announcing a fifth season pickup for Mad Men at last January’s Television Critics Association press tour, Joel Stillerman, AMC's senior vice president of original programming said: "Mad Men is definitely coming back for Season 5, but don't ask me when, because we're not sure yet.”

The net also has the second season of The Walking Dead scheduled for fall and has ordered ten episodes of western Hell on Wheels.

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