he story: Here's the good news for "Mad Men" fans: The show will return for a fifth season. The bad news? It will remain on hiatus until "early 2012," says AMC. In confirming the news, the network blamed "key non-cast negotiations" for the delay — but it has long been reported that AMC is locked in a dispute with the show's creator Matthew Weiner. According to Deadline, Weiner is objecting to AMC's demands for more product placement in the series, and for two minutes to be cut from each episode's running time to make room for more commercials. He has also balked at the demand that two unnamed cast members be cut from the show to trim costs.
The reaction: So the "Madison Avenue drama is being held up at least in part over, yup, advertising," says James Poniewozik at TIME. Oh, the irony. We need some wise figure to tell AMC that quality should come over commercial concerns. "Anyone have Bert Cooper's number?" Well, we can't quite see why "Team Weiner is so frustrated," says Josef Adalian at New York. The show has featured product integration for some time. And "even with the proposed trims," the show would still be one of the longest on cable. As for the casting issue, "all of the main cast are signed on for season five." It's unlikely any of our favorite characters would lose out. Maybe Weiner is the one holding the show hostage.
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