Weiner builds 'Mad' house

Tells TCA panel his AMC show will cover 10 years over five seasons

"Mad Men" creator/exec producer Matthew Weiner is known for close attention to detail on his AMC series and it turns out he has an equally specific creative and production timeline for the rest of the series: "Mad Men" will include five seasons, spanning 10 years in the story, with jumps in time between each season.

Weiner hinted at the plan at the TCA panel for "Mad Men" on Wednesday when asked why he decided to leap the show's story line 14 months forward in time between the first and second season.

"In the life of the series, if it continues, I would like to cover this period of people's lives, and that's a five-year plan and not a 10-year plan," he said.

After consulting with Weiner, an AMC spokesperson later clarified the quote: "What he meant was that he wants to leap forward between seasons, not just pick up where the last season leaves off. So he wants to cover a period of 10 years in these characters' lives, in five seasons."

If Weiner and AMC follow through on this plan, it means the "Mad Men" story line — which started in 1960 — will conclude in 1970. And the series — which launched in 2007 — will conclude in 2011.

The move also will put "Mad Men" in the pantheon of such serialized dramas as "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" that have made a point of setting a specific end date for the show.

Weiner's plan is, if anything, even more ambitious by setting a story timeline for his characters as well.

Pressed for more details about what's to come, he said, "Trust me. I will give you the information you need as you need it in the most entertaining fashion."(partialdiff)