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'Mad Men': The Uncensored, Epic, Never-Told Story Behind AMC's Critical Darling


Stashed in: Mad Men!, Publishing, & Media (Industry), Film & Cinema

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'WHO THE F— IS AMC?'In 2001, Matthew Weiner writes his first Mad Men script, which goes nowhere until 2005, when AMC decides to shop for its first original scripted series.

Matthew Weiner (creator) I finished the script and sent it to my agents. They didn't read it for three or four months. (They're not my agents anymore.) I was advised not to send it anywhere because that was at a time when there were big overall deals for comedy writers. People would pay for the anticipation of what your project would be, and actually having one was going to hurt you. I kept trying to get into HBO, but I never got a meeting. And I met with FX, which Kevin Reillywas running at that time. He talked to me about making it into a half‑hour. Then people started talking to me about a feature. It was my manager's assistant who gave AMC the script. That's who they were pawned off on.

It's funny because Mad Men begat Breaking Bad, which begat Walking Dead and Better Call Saul.

Now AMC can thrive even though Mad Men is ending.

and, considering 2008 was before Game of Thrones got its momentum (though I'm sure lots of people found out about both, + Breaking Bad at same time), it is actually interesting to get more retroactive context into WHY/HOW that time was so bleak/boring for cable TV, and how such quality original programming BLEW UP, as if it didn't exist before (which, apparently, it did not).  The context for "cable TV gold rush" has still not fully been explored - we're so caught up in the rush of new content.

period DOES go now, as long as the core research, production design and props are on point.

Good point. AMC's success with Mad Men plus HBO's success with Sopranos led to Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones led to Amazon, Netflix, and Yahoo doing original programming.

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