More 'Mad Men' On The Way

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AMC has ordered a third season of Mad Men. The question now is whether the creator of the Emmy Award-winning drama series will be around for the new campaign.

The network, which has received a ton of critical acclaim tied to the retro advertising series that became the first basic-cable series to bring home the outstanding drama series Emmy statuette last month, has officially exercised its option to bring the show back for a third season.

However, series producer Lionsgate and Mad Men executive producer Matthew Weiner remain in negotiations. Weiner -- who also added to his Emmy collection, which began with his gig with HBO’s The Sopranos, via a best writing statuette for a Mad Men episode, does not have a contract for a third season of the show that traces the professional and personal lives of workers in a 1960s advertising agency.

“Obviously, it’s coming back to AMC. It’s their signature show,” said an industry source. “Clearly, the intent is for Matt to be involved. But it’s going to happen with or without him.”

An AMC spokesperson issued the following statement: “The future of Mad Men on AMC is not in question. The show will be returning next season. We are engaged in discussions now and look forward to a powerful second season finale on October 26.” The 13-episode season's penultimate season premieres on Sunday.

Lionsgate declined to comment.

Published reports indicate that Weiner has been making the rounds to different studios to see what development opportunities are open to him. In that vein, Variety reported that it could be possible for Weiner to grab another deal, while remaining as a showrunner for Mad Men.

Despite the fact it’s a critical darling and was hailed by the TV industry, the show’s audience remains relatively small. While it has grown in its second season, the premiere airings of its first 11 installments of Madison’s sophomore season averaged a 1.5 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research data, topped by a 2.1 for its opener. On a cume base, the season-to-date has garnered 17.9 million unique homes and 23 million viewers.  

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