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Mad Men renewed for fifth and sixth seasons; Matthew Weiner staying on as showrunner

AMC and Lionsgate today announced the return of the iconic series “Mad Men” for seasons five and six with series creator Matthew Weiner back on board as showrunner. Concurrently, it was announced that Weiner has signed a new long-term deal with Lionsgate, extending into a possible seventh season. The announcements were made by Charlie Collier, president of AMC, and Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group.

Not included in the press release (which you’ll find included in full after the jump), but reported on elsewhere are some details on the deal. First up, although the renewal is for two seasons (through season six) a pick-up for season seven is likely given Matthew Weiner signed a new deal (worth a $25-30M) that would take him through a possible seventh season. Also, AMC will air full 47-minute cuts of the season premiere and finale episodes, but will choose between airing a 45 or 47 minute cut of the episodes in between (this would in effect give them an additional 2 minutes of ad-time revenue per week). If the network decides to air the shorter version, they would air the extended cut online and on-demand.

The complete press release is included after the jump.

AMC AND LIONSGATE ANNOUNCE MULTIPLE SEASON DEAL FOR ‘Mad Men’ WITH MATTHEW WEINER SIGNING LONG-TERM AGREEMENT TO CONTINUE AS SHOWRUNNER

New York – March 31, 2011 – AMC and Lionsgate today announced the return of the iconic series “Mad Men” for seasons five and six with series creator Matthew Weiner back on board as showrunner. Concurrently, it was announced that Weiner has signed a new long-term deal with Lionsgate, extending into a possible seventh season. The announcements were made by Charlie Collier, president of AMC, and Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group.

When AMC debuted “Mad Men” in July 2007 it quickly became one of the most talked about series on television. Set in 1960s New York, “Mad Men” is a sexy and provocative original drama that follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising. Produced by Lionsgate, “Mad Men” has made television history as the only cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama and the Golden Globe for Best Television Series-Drama for three consecutive years.

“I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support.” said Weiner. “I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning. I’m excited to get started on the next chapter of our story.”

“AMC’s original programming began with a mission to create bold storytelling of the highest quality, and ‘Mad Men’ was the perfect expression of that commitment. We’ve been proud to support this show from the day we read Matt’s ground-breaking pilot script and have loved building it with Matt and Lionsgate into the cultural phenomenon it has become,” said Collier. “For everyone involved in the show and its passionate fans, we are thrilled to announce that the series will continue on AMC under the exceptional vision of Matt Weiner.”

“We are proud to continue our successful relationships with AMC and the brilliantly talented Matt Weiner, whose vision has created one of the most distinguished series on television,” said Beggs. “We also appreciate the passion and patience of ‘Mad Men’ fans around the world who have been awaiting this good news, and we believe they will be rewarded with many more seasons of this extraordinary and groundbreaking series.”

Mad Men’s award-winning ensemble cast includes: Golden Globe-winner Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Jared Harris, Rich Sommer, Aaron Staton, Robert Morse and Kiernan Shipka.

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