Entertainment & Arts

Mad Men fifth series delayed until March 2012

Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Image caption Jon Hamm stars as Don Draper in the 1960s-set drama

The fifth series of US ad agency drama Mad Men will not hit TV screens before March 2012 because of stalled contract talks with its creator.

In a statement, cable network AMC said the delay was "due to ongoing, key non-cast negotiations" with creator and executive producer Matt Weiner.

Deadline reported Weiner is fighting demands involving product placement, a reduced running time and cast changes.

The new series had been scheduled to be broadcast in the US in July.

Contract talks are expected to be resolved before production resumes for next season.

Deadline said Weiner has yet to sign a reported $30 million (£18.7m) contract over three years.

It added Weiner was objecting to AMC and series producer Lionsgate's requests for integrating product placement into the series, cutting two minutes from each episode for more advertising breaks and culling two regular cast members to save money.

In an interview with The New York Times, Weiner - who was a former writer for mob drama The Sopranos - said the cuts would make Mad Men "a different show".

"I don't understand why, with all of the success of the show, they suddenly need to change it," he said.

"All I want to do is continue to make my show and make it in the way I want to, with the people I want to make it with."

The show, which stars Jon Hamm as a New York advertising executive in the turbulent 1960s, has failed to draw a large audience for AMC.

Yet it is one of the most acclaimed shows on television and has won the Emmy for best drama for the last three years.

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