FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Weiner’

Saturday Evening Post Goes Retro for Mad Men Cover

Sharif Tarabay, the artist responsible for the March/April 2014 cover of The Saturday Evening Post, is thrilled. Because while he has in the past done Norman Rockwell-inspired work, this is the first time such an illustration has adorned the latter’s eponymous publication:

“I’ve done many illustrations inspired by Rockwell’s classic covers throughout my career,” says the painter. “To illustrate a cover for The Saturday Evening Post based on one of Rockwell’s paintings - Window Washer – is a thrill and a highlight of my career.”

Here’s that original Rockwell illustration, which appeared in the September 17, 1960 issue:


Read more

Mediabistro Course

Middle Grade Novel Writing

Middle Grade Novel WritingStarting January 15, work with a literary agent to write your middle-grade novel! In this course, you'll learn how to develop strong characters, write compelling dialogue, master the art of revision, and market your work to publishing houses and agents. Register now!

Fear and Loathing Behind the Scenes at The Walking Dead?

AMC may have some of the best programming on TV, but it’s definitely going through some growing pains. First, Mad Men’s fifth season was delayed over haggling between the network and the show’s creator Matthew Weiner. Then Breaking Bad, for reasons that still seem odd, was given a yearlong reprieve between its third and fourth seasons. Now The Walking Dead‘s showrunner Frank Darabont has been unceremoniously given the boot. What’s going on?

An anonymous source tells the Hollywood Reporter‘s Kim Masters that “AMC has been “terrorizing” [actors] and their representatives to discourage them from speaking out on Darabont’s behalf.” Adds another insider: “They’re scared. They’re on a zombie show. They are all really easy to kill off.”

Seems like an odd way for a network to treat its highest rated show.

Read more

Three More Seasons of Mad Men

The tense negotiations between AMC, Lionsgate, and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have had fans cringing of late, but there is finally some good news to report. There will be three more seasons of the show and Weiner will remain as producer. The bad news is that AMC had decreed the show won’t return till March of 2012. That’s 17 months off the air. If you ever needed a reason to loathe greedy, overpaid television executives, here it is.

Weiner successfully fought against drastic cost cutting measures, including cutting characters and lowering production value, but he did make some compromises. Two minutes are being shaved off of all but the first and last episodes so that AMC can sell more commercials.

The new deal scores Weiner a paycheck of $10 million per year, but in an interview with Deadline Hollywood, he insisted the fight with the studio was about creative integrity:

It’s never been about money. I wanted to do the show I wanted to do and the show the audience has come to expect.

Weiner will return to work today.

Mad Men to Win Architectural Preservation Award

Usually when you think Mad Men and award season you think Emmy. But the show is set to pick up an unusual nod this year. The LA Conservancy‘s 30th annual Preservation Award Ceremony is coming up in May, and Mad Men will be the winner of the group’s annual media award, thanks to the show’s loving depictions of 60′s architecture and culture.

Mad Men had filmed key scenes in Season 4 episode “The Suitcase” at the restaurant because of its pristine condition. When new management began removing original elements of the restaurant in a plan to “make it more Mad Men,” Mr. Weiner urged them to keep La Villa Basque intact.

For catapulting 1960s culture into the mainstream, showcasing Los Angeles’ treasures of sixties architecture, and taking a stand on real-life preservation issues, the Conservancy is proud to honor Mad Men and Matthew Weiner with its 2011 Media Award.

Read more

The Bald and the Beautiful

Forget about last week’s ranking by Forbes of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women. In a town overrun with male braggadocio, the Bald 100 honor roll shared this week by GQ is going to undoubtedly be a far greater topic of conversation.

Perhaps Vin Diesel can bank on the idea that he is the top west coast industry rep on the list at #5 to spark a fresh round of meetings. Better yet, the lanky actor should have his people call Ron Howard‘s people to share a laugh over the fact that the director sits at #6. Meanwhile, it’s too bad Larry David isn’t currently in production on Curb Your Enthusiasm; he clocks in at #10, a few slides behind Samuel L. Jackson (#7), as the fourth and final member of L.A.’s gleaming chrome dome quartet.

Read more

KCRW Live Events With Matthew Weiner and Alan Ball

Yes, True Blood and Mad Men fans now have something to live for during the hiatus. Tickets for the event go on sale this Wednesday.

And yes we posted this event so we could say this to our readers: Go see Ball’s and Weiner’s…taping in person!

Release in full:



Next two live events Oct. 12 & Oct. 14 @ NPR West


Live events, creating exclusive online content, feature NPR/KCRW on-air personalities in conversation with cultural figures

Public radio station 89.9 FM KCRW-Santa Monica and NPR announce the next two events in their ongoing series UpClose, a series of live events featuring conversations with cultural figures available at and

Read more

Lunch: Where the Magic Happens



I thought I’d seen just about everything from my regular perch at Michael’s during my weekly visits, but today topped all. They were serving up sides of card tricks with the Cobb salads today and the gang was just eating it up. When I arrived, illusionist JB Benn was standing at the bar shuffling a deck of playing cards for Frank Gifford as his pals Hunter Millington — yes, Steve‘s brother — and Chris Graham looked on. He asked the gridiron great to sign a card and place it back in the deck. After a great deal of slow-mo shuffling, he finally pulled out the very same card from a sealed envelope in his jacket pocket.”I better make sure I’ve still got my watch,” quipped Frank. JB then drafted me into service asking me how many dollar bills he was holding in his hands. Frank and I both agreed he had four single dollars. Literally, right before our eyes the bills turned into hundreds. Within minutes, a crowd had gathered and there were gasps all around. I wouldn’t be surprised if JB is now booked between now and 2010 as the entertainment at parties from the Upper East Side to Easthampton as result of his impromptu performance this afternoon.

The utterly charming and adorable Mr. Benn (“He looks like a better-looking Tom Cruise,” said one smitten diner) made the rounds in the dining room eliciting applause all around. When I saw how wowed Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb were after the illusionist worked his magic on them, I suggested they might want to have him on the show to make ‘Sam the Cooking Guy’ disappear. In case you haven’t heard, Sam caused quite a stir on Today last Wednesday’s show in a segment during the fourth hour when he basically told the co-hosts to shut up and let him talk about his salad when he thought they had gotten too chatty. Sam clearly didn’t know what to do when he realized he had actually verbalized what he was thinking. He then sputtered out the ingredients of his salad while Kathie Lee and Hoda just watched him squirm — a classic TV moment. But, says Kathie Lee, Sam isn’t banished from the set. “I’m big on second chances,” she says. But be warned, Sam. “I forgive — but I don’t forget.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Woody Johnson (sporting a discreet ‘McCain‘ button) and a squadron of suits. Just asking: Is the Jets’ owner advising Michael’s on personal seat licensing?

2. Three members of the ‘Imber Gang’: Dr. Gerry Imber, Andy Berger and Jerry Della Femina. I had a great chat with Jerry about AMC’s runaway hit “Mad Men.” (If you haven’t tuned in, check it out on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. It’s the best dramatic series on television right now — seriously) Turns out the legendary ad man was one of a select few that got an early look at the script for the series’ pilot because creator Matthew Weiner wanted to make sure he got every detail right, from the Brooks Brothers suits worn by the execs to the nonstop smoking that helped fuel the creative fire on Madison Avenue in the early sixties. Jerry, who had a “four pack a day” habit back then, says the show has been a boon for business. “For the longest time nobody wanted to be in advertising. Everybody wanted to be an investment banker. Now, because of the show, people are talking about advertising again. It’s revitalized the industry. I’m back in fashion again!” Indeed.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, producer Joan Gelman and marketing strategist and frequent CNN contributor Robert Zimmerman (glad to hear you’re a ‘Lunch’ fan!). Before my good pal Joe — who is jetting off to Europe this week for a much-deserved vacation — and his fellow Democratic boosters settled down for lunch they, too, were dazzled by Mr. Benn’s sleight of hand. Before they could dash off to their table I asked Robert, who is privy to the inner workings of the Democratic party, for his thoughts on who will be Barack Obama’s running mate. The suddenly taciturn strategist demurred, but offered his thoughts on who it should be — “Joe Armstrong, of course.” Remember, you heard it here first.

4. Gerald Schoenfeld and Carnegie Hall head Clive Gillinson

Read more