Though Mad Men creator Matt Weiner famously holds his cards very, very (very) close to the vest, there is one thing he was willing to reveal about Season 6, when TVLine spoke with him about the AMC drama’s latest haul of 17 Emmy nominations.
Peggy, played by Elisabeth Moss, “is going to be on the show next year,” Weiner shared. “I can’t say how much, in what capacity or what [her story] is going to be, but she has not left the show.”
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Weiner likens the questioning of Moss’ status to the concerns he fielded after the Drapers headed for divorce a couple seasons back. “Everyone was like, ‘I guess January Jones is off the show,’ and I was like, ‘Why would she be?’ I never understood that.”
But whereas Don is forever connected to Betty through their kids, one could argue that Peggy’s tie to the canvas was mostly through her work at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and that seemingly ended when she tendered her resignation.
“When people leave Sterling Cooper, sometimes it is the end for [the character],” Weiner allows. “But I will spoil that one tiny piece of anticipation and tell people that Elisabeth will be showing up to work.”
The same Season 5 that saw Peggy bid SCDP farewell also injected a heavy dose of Megan Draper, played by relatively new cast member Jessica Pare. Weiner admits that he “took a couple knocks” for thrusting Don’s new bride into the spotlight, but says it was a necessary follow-through on someone now wed to the show’s lead character.
“You take a huge risk when you don’t do the show you did the year before,” Weiner explains, alluding to how Season 4 ended with Don and Megan’s engagement. “People just hated her. They were like, ‘She’s manipulative! Is he really going to marry her? Hopefully she’ll be gone.’ But I was like, ‘No, this is this guy’s second marriage, and he’s going to take it seriously.”
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Regardless of so much ado about “Zou Bisou Bisou,” Mad Men is coming off its most-watched season, averaging 2.6 million weekly viewers (up 15 percent over Season 4). And while AMC thus far has only renewed the show for Season 6, Weiner insists that a cycle beyond that is a certainty.
“We cannot rely on the official language of things. There will be a Season 7,” he says. “Jon Hamm is signed on for it, I’m signed on for it… I mean, if Season 6 has one viewer… but I don’t think [ratings] is what it’s about. I think Season 7 has already been internationally sold… It’s going to happen.”