"Mad Men" fans desperate to find out how 1960s ad-man Don Draper's hasty engagement to his young secretary will unfold may have to wait some time. Filming has yet to begin on the fifth season and — with negotiations between the show's network, AMC and its production house, Lionsgate, dragging on — creator Matthew Weiner has even suggested that "Mad Men" won't return at all. "We have not started writing. I am not back at work," Weiner told Entertainment Weekly. "It would be heartbreaking for me if [AMC and Lionsgate] don't work it out, horrifying really. It would be a shame for fans to never get to see what great stuff we have planned for Don and company." Could a contractual dispute really spell the end of "Mad Men?

Don Draper won't be back in 2011: Everyone likes "Mad Men," says Sean O'Neal at The A.V. Club. AMC, Matthew Weiner, viewers, and critics all agree it's the best thing on TV. So why hasn't this "mutual lovefest" produced a deal? A 2011 return for the show is almost impossible at this point. "Fans of 1960s-era morality" ought to cross their fingers for 2012.
"Mad Men's fifth season still isn't confirmed"

Weiner's warnings are a negotiation strategy: Weiner's statement "seems a bit dramatic," says Kelsea Stahler at Hollywood.com, and may just be his way of "publicly lighting a fire under AMC to get this show on the road." Who can blame him? He has "consistently delivered story lines that keep die-hard fans coming back for more," and attracted new fans along the way. No price is too high, AMC.
"Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is still without a contract"

Why torture fans? I agree that this "apocalyptic doom mongering" is a pressure tactic, says Devin Faraci at Badass Digest. And frankly, I'm a bit disgusted. It's not as if they won't work it out eventually — "neither side has anything to gain by going kamikaze in these negotiations." I just wish they'd keep their dispute "behind closed doors," and spare "Mad Men" fans the heartache.
"Mad Men Season 5 remains delayed"