'Mad Men' close to pickup

AMC wants Matthew Weiner for third season

"Mad Men" is inching closer to a third-season pickup.

Sources said Thursday that AMC has informed producer Lionsgate of its intention to pick up the drama series for a third season, contingent upon the studio's ability to negotiate a new deal with creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner.

Weiner is not signed on beyond the show's current second season, which has its finale Oct. 26. He has been in talks with Lionsgate for the past couple of months while also exploring the possibility for a development deal elsewhere.

"Mad Men" garners modest ratings -- Sunday's episode averaged 1.5 million total viewers -- but is a critical darling, becoming the first basic cable program to win a major series category at the Primetime Emmy Awards with its best drama trophy last month.

Weiner won a drama series writing Emmy for his work on the show, which also was named best drama series at January's Golden Globes.
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