TVLine Items: Mad Men's Cruel Summer Delay, Mirren Does SNL, and Other TV News to Know

We’ve got good news, bad news on the Mad Men front. Lionsgate TV and AMC are inching closer to a new deal with showrunner Matt Weiner, reports Deadline. The catch is that arriving at an agreement at this late date all but guarantees a delay in the series’ fifth season.

With Weiner’s compensation negotiations continuing into late March, production on Mad Men will likely not begin in time to meet the traditional  summer premiere date. But a pushed-back Season 5 is better than none at all, right?

Elsewhere in TV news today…

• Academy Award winner Helen Mirren will make her Saturday Night Live hosting debut on April 9 on NBC, alongside musical guests the Foo Fighters. Mirren previously (and fleetingly) appeared on SNL as part of an October 2010 digital short.

• Former Weeds funnylady Elizabeth Perkins has landed the female lead opposite Michael Chiklis in the Conan O’Brien-produced comedy pilot Vince Uncensored, says Deadline. Chiklis’ casting is of course in second position to his current gig on ABC’s No Ordinary Family.

• And the REM casting just keeps getting better: Terriers alumna Laura Allen will play wife to Jason Issacs in the NBC drama pilot, per Deadline. Allen was originally cast in the series’ supporting female role, as the son’s tennis coach; that role has now gone to Vampire Diaries werewolf Michaela McManus.

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?