Mad Men Boss Matthew Weiner on Season 5's Theme and Kicking Off With a 'Big Movie'

Mad Men‘s famously spoiler-averse creator is breaking his silence about the plot of the show’s long-delayed fifth season.

“A couple of [themes] have emerged as we have gone on, one of them [being] ‘It’s every man for himself,'” Matthew Weiner said at a cocktail reception held Saturday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “There’s a line in the third episode where somebody says, ‘When is everything going to get back to normal?’

“There’s a feeling of being in the midst of change,” Weiner added. “I love that feeling of, ‘Right when I think I’m on top of something, right when I think that I have some wisdom from life experience, you just sort of feel things slip away.’ And there’s this sensation, which I think people have right now — I know I do — [that] there is just so much change going on. I write from what I’m feeling, and I have this feeling right now of like, ‘Enough already! Let’s just get our feet on the ground and go back to the way it was.’ I don’t know if anybody else identifies with that, but that’s a big part of the season. Just trying to hold on.”

Weiner also revealed that the two-hour opener, airing Sunday, March 25, is not two individual installments sandwiched together but rather one super-sized episode. “As I started writing [the premiere], it started spreading and spreading and spreading…,” he said. “I was like, ‘There is too much story. I could either cut this thing down, or I think I have a Mad Men movie here.’ I had a great team helping me develop this story and we just sort of went for it. And the network was excited. I was like, ‘We’ve been gone for so long, let’s give [fans] a big Mad Men movie to start the season.”

One detail Weiner refused to part with was how how much time had lapsed between seasons. “I can’t tell you when it picks up,” he said. “You’ll have to watch.”

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  1. justjack says:


    (Sorry, I’m so excited that I’m not particularly eloquent right now!)

  2. Julie says:

    So we’re actually getting 14 hours next season in 13 episodes? I guess that’s a bit of a reward for making us wait so long between seasons. Can’t wait!

    • Leaman says:

      Well, to be technical, it’s only 14 hours with commercials. We’ll get 10 hours and 16 minutes this season, instead of the normal 9 hours and 32 minutes. :-)

  3. Gayle says:

    I have never watched a Mad Men episode on TV. I’ve watched them all-all 4 seasons on my iPad. I can’t wait to see season 5 on television. The only problem will be that I can’t watch 3 episodes at a time.

  4. David P. Graf says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t share the enthusiasm of others for this show. However, to those who do – I’m glad for you that it’s coming back soon.

    • Ciara Glynn says:

      *Sigh* People should be more like you. Not necessarily apologizing for not liking a show (it’s all a matter of opinion), but the idea that you don’t look down on people for liking a show you don’t. You, sir, should be president of the Internet.

  5. Philipp says:

    I think it will still count as 2 episodes though, so 12 weeks of Mad Men.

  6. SnazzyO says:

    Super Scooper! Thanks for prying out some Mad Men news. It’s been a loooooooooooong hiatus.

    I’m glad it starts out with 2 hrs. We are HUNGRY.

  7. leah says:

    oh my goddddddddd i’m so happy and excited, i can’t WAIT jesus

  8. tim says:

    There’s been alot of great shows that have priemerd since it’s been off the air–but Mad Men really is still the best show out there—every season is great and that can’t be said for alot of shows.

  9. marc smallman says:

    Does anyone know if new series on sky atlantic will have subtitles?

  10. Lola says:

    I can’t wait! It’s been far too long since I’ve had some Hamm.

  11. JenInChicago says:

    Hey, folks….maybe this has been answered (many times) or not….Is AMC planning on showing all of Season 4’s episodes prior to the start of Season 5? I’ve seen the first 3 seasons thanks to the Sunday morning re-airings and obviously need to see season 4 prior to 5 starting – via AMC or DVD…

    Thanks, all!

  12. brenda says:

    hopefully, half of the two hours won’t be spent on the daughter’s problems. a lot of airtime was wasted on that brat in the last season- when even one minute is too much, really.

  13. Rosie says:

    Why change things with a two-hour season premiere? Is Weiner really that concerned about recapturing the series’ fan base?