Some Men are Mad at AMC

Posted by BRADY in Mad Men

August 15th, 2011, 02:46 PM

How in the world does the channel with the most critically acclaimed shows on TV right now get nothing but bad press? Ask AMC, they seem to have perfected the unique trick.

As we all know, AMC used to be a channel where you could only watch old movies, and there was nothing wrong with that. I like being able to watch Jaws at 9pm as much as the next guy. But then they scrapped together a budget and decided to dip their toe into the water of original programming with a little show called Mad Men. They followed that up with Breaking Bad, an equally acclaimed, and even more risky, show with some of the most brilliant dramatic acting seen on the small screen in years. With three straight “Best Drama” Emmy wins for Mad Men, and 3 straight “Best Dramatic Actor” wins for Breaking Bad, it’s safe to say the shows kicked AMC’s fledgling original programming department into the spotlight. There were a couple misses, but the record breaking premiere of the gorey, thrilling zombie serial The Walking Dead last October cemented AMC as the “new HBO.”

So just what in the heck is going on over there? After a tense contract negotiation with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, an agreement was finally reached to bring the show back, but too late for us to get our usual summer Mad Men fix. Although they just announced a deal to bring Breaking Bad back for one more season, for awhile there other networks were openly talking about adopting the show when it ditched AMC. And worst of all, veteran filmmaker Frank Darabont was fired from his role as showrunner for The Walking Dead only weeks after promoting the show at Comic Con, supposedly because him and the network could not agree on budgets. This last one is the best sign that things are very amiss at AMC. It’s one thing for a guy like Frank Darabont, arguably the only reason The Walking Dead got made at all, to step down now that the show is up and running. But to get fired? It stinks like AMC used his name and credits to launch the show and ditched the expensive producer as soon as they had a reliable audience.

But who is really to blame? If you listen to Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, a man who knows a thing or two about making a hit show for basic cable, it was all those boozy Mad Men. Sutter went on a twitter rant about Darabont’s firing, blaming Matthew Weiner for holding the network hostage with his demands for Mad Men to come back. AMC, afraid of losing their flagship show, agreed to his unrealistic budget demands, meaning that other shows had to have their budgets slashed to accommodate. Translation: bye bye expensive movie director!

Hey AMC: your making the best shows on TV, now pull yourself together as a network to keep your talent there. Otherwise I fear you’ll just be re-playing Jaws in prime time in no time flat.

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