Mad Men


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tabs

About

1960s. Advertising. Don Draper. Translation: Mad Men. Created by Matthew Weiner, the hit hour-long drama follows the staff of Sterling Cooper (an agency that changes names with some regularity) on New York's Madison Avenue. Sex, death, scandals and affairs abound.

Season one begins with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) as Creative Director, and the series largely centers around his personal and professional exploits. Other main characters include Don's wife, Betty Draper (January Jones), Peggy Olson, ambitious secretary (Elisabeth Moss), agency partners Roger Sterling (John Slattery) and Bertram Cooper (Robert Morse), account executive Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), and office manager Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks). Many of the professional and personal titles of the main characters change as the seasons progress and characters receive promotions or choose different life partners. Several new characters also join the cast as the advertising agency expands.

Matthew Weiner penned the pilot of the show while he was an unhappy writer on Becker and looking to do a story about someone like him, "who was 35 years old and had everything and was miserable." Encouraged by the ground-breaking writing on The Sopranos (his pilot script for Mad Men actually got him his next big gig after Becker -- as a staff writer on The Sopranos), Weiner followed David Chase's lead, abandoning rote television conventions and complicating notions of the hero/anti-hero. Weiner pitched his pilot to several networks and received a series of negative responses: "It's a period piece which people hate. It's too abstract. This character and these people are all awful. All that smoking... there's just nothing in it that interests us." But the executives at AMC were interested.

Mad Men premiered on July 19, 2007 and quickly gained critical acclaim. The show won the Emmy for Best Drama Series in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 and is known for its classic '60's style, with costumes and set design beautifully capturing the tone of the era. In addition to Emmy wins for Best Drama, Mad Men has also won for Art Direction, Cinematography, Hairstyling, Writing, Casting, and Main Title Design -- click on the video below to watch the iconic intro with a silhouette of a man falling through ad-covered skyscrapers.

Matthew Weiner has confirmed that Mad Men will run for a total of seven seasons. In his Archive interview he states, "I just want to say to the audience, you know what the show is. You know how real it is. How do you think it ends? You know how it ends."

And there you have it.

Creator: Matthew Weiner

Programming History: July 19, 2007 - present

Sunday nights, AMC

- by Adrienne Faillace

Highlights
Matthew Weiner on fighting for Jon Hamm to be hired on Mad Men
02:59
Jon Hamm on feeling he was right for the role of "Don Draper" on Mad Men and Matthew Weiner recognizing that and fighting for him 
02:33
Janie Bryant on "Betty Draper's" costumes from Mad Men and how she was influenced in her design by Grace Kelly
Matthew Weiner on the style and realism of Mad Men, including the costuming
12:58
Jon Hamm on the Coca-Cola commercial in the final episode of Mad Men
02:02
Janie Bryant on her role as the costume designer for Mad Men and the attention to detail on the show
03:22
Who talked about this show

Janie Bryant

View Interview
Janie Bryant on how she was hired as the costume designer on Mad Men and on working with the show's creator, Matthew Weiner
04:09
Janie Bryant on her inspiration for the costumes on Mad Men and how she researched the period; on her collaboration with series creator Matthew Weiner
Janie Bryant on working with series creator Matthew Weiner on Mad Men and his passion for the show and their collaborative process; on the production schedule
09:49
Janie Bryant on the secrecy of Mad Men's story lines and plot points
Janie Bryant on the production schedule on Mad Men for costumes
Janie Bryant on her role as the costume designer for Mad Men and the attention to detail on the show
03:22
Janie Bryant on her costume designs for each character on Mad Men starting with "Don Draper"
05:09
Janie Bryant on the costume design for the Mad Men character "Peggy Olson"
02:31
Janie Bryant on the costume design for the Mad Men  character "Betty Draper" - "It's about peeling the onion"
01:44
Janie Bryant on the costume design for the Mad Men  character "Joan Harris"
00:57
Janie Bryant on the costume design for the Mad Men  character "Roger Sterling"
01:15
Janie Bryant on the costume design for the Mad Men  character "Megan Draper"
00:59
Janie Bryant on the costume design for the Mad Men  character "Sally Draper"
Janie Bryant on some of the most challenging costume designs for Mad Men and her favorite episodes 
Janie Bryant on how Mad Men has influenced fashion style
Janie Bryant on why Mad Men is a hit show
02:48
Janie Bryant takes us on a tour of the Mad Men  costume shop; she shows us each character's "closet" and specific costumes from episodes of the show, how the closets are organized and her process for selecting or designing costumes; she begins with "Megan Draper"'s character and how she dresses similarly to her husband "Don Draper"
Janie Bryant shows us "Megan Draper's" dress from Season 5 of Mad Men and her gown from the Codfish Ball
Janie Bryant on the importance of lingerie in the Mad Men costume department
Janie Bryant on "Don Draper's" costumes; she shows us items from his "closet" in her Mad Men costume shop
Janie Bryant on the label found inside one of "Don Draper's" suits and what it says
00:58
Janie Bryant on "Peggy Olsen's" costumes and how Mad Men repeats costumes making it more true to what the characters would have done
Janie Bryant on "Betty Draper's" costumes from Mad Men and how she was influenced in her design by Grace Kelly
Janie Bryant on "Betty Draper's" costumes from Mad Men  and how she once had to stitch actress January Jones into an outfit in a hurry; on Betty's weight gain

Richard Frank

View Interview
Richard Frank on getting into advertising
05:36

Jon Hamm

View Interview
Jon Hamm on feeling he was right for the role of "Don Draper" on Mad Men and Matthew Weiner recognizing that and fighting for him 
02:33
Jon Hamm on the Coca-Cola commercial in the final episode of Mad Men
02:02
Jon Hamm on what he hopes people will be saying about Mad Men 40 years in the future
01:47
Jon Hamm on whether or not "Don Draper" came up with the Coca-Cola commercial in the final episode of Mad Men
01:48
Jon Hamm on how he learned about Mad Men and his first audition for the show (a pre-read); on subsequent callbacks for the role
04:56
Jon Hamm on the pilot for Mad Men and Matthew Weiner's vision for "Don Draper"; on how he prepared to play the character
02:10
Jon Hamm on not doing much additional research on the '60s era in his preparations for Mad Men, but remembering the commercials he watched when he was growing up 
02:18
Jon Hamm on shows about advertising traditionally not having high stakes, and Mad Men breaking those rules
01:09
Jon Hamm on learning that Mad Men got picked up and the decisions that were made about production
01:21
Jon Hamm on Mad Men shooting in Los Angeles
00:59
Jon Hamm on his process when he received a Mad Men script and maintaining a level of consistency with his character
01:28
Jon Hamm on his process for playing the "Dick Whitman/Don Draper" duality on Mad Men and his working relationship with Matthew Weiner
02:07
Jon Hamm on the table reads for Mad Men and that being the only real rehearsal
01:34
Jon Hamm on not making changes to lines on Mad Men and trusting Matthew Weiner
01:13
Jon Hamm on the period-specific language and smoking culture portrayed on Mad Men
03:06
Jon Hamm on similarities between his father and "Don Draper" on Mad Men
01:35
Jon Hamm on going to dark places while playing "Don Draper" on Mad Men and how "Don's" journey ends in the final episode
04:00
Jon Hamm on being pleased with how the storylines were wrapped up when Mad Men ended
02:05
Jon Hamm on filming the last few episodes of Mad Men without the other regular cast members present
01:29
Jon Hamm on the three phone calls in the finale of Mad Men
02:03
Jon Hamm on directing two episodes of Mad Men and what it was like to be on both sides of the camera; on turning down the opportunity to direct in season seven; on what he as an actor brings to directing
06:05
Jon Hamm on learning from the other directors of Mad Men and learning from all sets he's been on
01:05
Jon Hamm on the relationship between "Betty Draper" and "Don Draper" on Mad Men and working with January Jones
02:13
Jon Hamm on pivotal moments in the relationship between "Peggy Olson" and "Don Draper" on Mad Men and working with Elisabeth Moss
03:27
Jon Hamm on pivotal moments in the relationship between "Pete Campbell" and "Don Draper" on Mad Men and working with Vincent Kartheiser
02:42
Jon Hamm on working with John Slattery on Mad Men and the relationship between "Roger Sterling" and "Don Draper"
01:23
Jon Hamm on working with Kiernan Shipka on Mad Men and the relationship between "Sally Draper" and "Don Draper"
03:30
Jon Hamm on sometimes giving Kiernan Shipka acting tips and advice on Mad Men
00:54
Jon Hamm on how his life changed when Mad Men became successful and he started to get recognized more; on dealing with celebrity
03:06
Jon Hamm on David Simon wondering how such a specific story on The Wire can resonate with such a wide audience and how a niche show like Mad Men  can do the same
01:54
Jon Hamm on what it's like to play a flawed character on Mad Men; on other flawed heroes or anti-heroes throughout TV history
02:39
Jon Hamm on the press for and fanbase of Mad Men
01:19
Jon Hamm on winning a Golden Globe for Mad Men
01:05
Jon Hamm on what he'll miss most about Mad Men and about playing "Don Draper"
02:25
Jon Hamm on parodying Mad Men's "Don Draper" on Saturday Night Live
01:06

David Isaacs

View Interview
David Isaacs on acting as a consulting producer for Mad Men  for Matthew Weiner
06:15

Barry Livingston

View Interview
Barry Livingston on meeting Matthew Weiner and appearing on Mad Men
04:20

Brandon Stoddard

View Interview
Brandon Stoddard on his career in advertising
04:10

Matthew Weiner

View Interview
Matthew Weiner on the style and realism of Mad Men, including the costuming
12:58
Matthew Weiner on his parents' influence on his show Mad Men; "there's a lot of Betty Draper" in his mother, who pursued a law school degree later in life; on his parents' take on the show
04:43
Matthew Weiner on how many details on Mad Men are derived from memories of his childhood
00:42
Matthew Weiner on his first film script "Horseshoe" that was the genesis of Mad Men; on how he got the film finished on a very limited budget
03:41
Matthew Weiner on the genesis of Mad Men - which he started scripting while a writer at Becker
01:57
Matthew Weiner on his process for writing the pilot of Mad Men
01:04
Matthew Weiner on the title of his show Mad Men
01:22
Matthew Weiner on pitching Mad Men to AMC; on the character "Don Draper"
07:06
Matthew Weiner on the inner workings of "Don Draper's" character on Mad Men; on when the wife of the man he's impersonating dies
03:46
Matthew Weiner on how all the characters on Mad Men are self-portrayals
01:51
Matthew Weiner on identifying with the characters "Peggy Olson" and "Pete Campbell" on Mad Men
04:51
Matthew Weiner on the character "Betty Draper" on Mad Men
02:16
Matthew Weiner on the character "Sally Draper" on Mad Men
03:56
Matthew Weiner on molding the character "Don Draper" alongside the actor Jon Hamm; on who he wanted "Don" to be
01:25
Matthew Weiner on shooting the second script (after the pilot) of Mad Men and the controversy over editing that episode
06:31
Matthew Weiner on the popularity of Mad Men and its audience
04:33
Matthew Weiner on the Mad Men episode, "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency," which includes the infamous lawnmower scene 
02:28
Matthew Weiner on the Mad Men episode, "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency"; on the cardinal sin of television (married woman having an affair); on the ending of season four
11:49
Matthew Weiner on how much of Mad Men has been pre-conceived
04:04
Matthew Weiner on how JFK's assassination played into Mad Men' s plotlines
02:04
Matthew Weiner on literary influences on Mad Men, including John Cheever
01:13
Matthew Weiner on the reason Mad Men's "Don Draper" could not remain a bachelor
06:39
Matthew Weiner on the "business model" for Mad Men; on differences with the network over sponsors
02:46
Matthew Weiner on how Hilton was integrated into Mad Men although they were never a formal sponsor
00:40
Matthew Weiner on the then-future of Mad Men
00:26
Matthew Weiner on the then-future of Mad Men and how he wants it to end; on not being done with the show yet
10:20
Matthew Weiner on the gap between seasons four and five of Mad Men and his contract negotiations with AMC 
05:21
Matthew Weiner on Mad Men's season five premiere episode, "A Little Kiss," and the story arcs of that season
04:35
Matthew Weiner on using The Beatles' song "Tomorrow Never Knows" on the Mad Men episode "Lady Lazarus"
02:25
Matthew Weiner on "Betty Draper's" (January Jones) cancer scare on season five of Mad Men
05:26
Matthew Weiner on plotting out stories and themes for Mad Men,  the suicide of "Lane Pryce" (Jared Harris), and other elements of season five 
10:51
Matthew Weiner on the Mad Men episode, "The Other Woman," in which "Joan Holloway" (Christina Hendricks) prostitutes herself to get an account for the firm
04:41
Matthew Weiner on "Megan Draper's" (Jessica Pare) career story arc in season five of Mad Men
01:37
Matthew Weiner on "Peggy Olson's" (Elisabeth Moss) story arc in season five of Mad Men
01:42
Matthew Weiner on season six of Mad Men and using the news events of 1968 as a backdrop 
11:22
Matthew Weiner on "Don Draper's" (Jon Hamm) affair in season six of Mad Men
03:47
Matthew Weiner on the final scene of season six of Mad Men,  the cinematic nature of the show, and "Don's" (Jon Hamm) downward spiral in seasons six and seven
09:51
Matthew Weiner on switching from film to video starting with the fifth season of Mad Men
02:54
Matthew Weiner on running Mad Men storylines by Jon Hamm at the start of each season and collaborating with the staff writers
04:36
Matthew Weiner on the death of "Bert Cooper" (Robert Morse) at the end of season 7a of Mad Men and planning out season seven
06:45
Matthew Weiner on making viewers cry at Mad Men and confounding viewers' expectations 
04:04
Matthew Weiner on collaborating with his writing staff on the end of Mad Men and the "firing" of "Don Draper" from Sterling Cooper
05:17
Matthew Weiner on the various cultural and historical references and influences for season seven of Mad Men including the moon landing
08:18
Matthew Weiner on the gender equality themes of Mad Men season 7a
00:44
Matthew Weiner on "Don" and "Megan's" relationship and "Don" and "Peggy's" relationship in season 7b of Mad Men
04:48
Matthew Weiner on the time lapse between seasons 7a and 7b on Mad Men and updating the styles and fashions
02:48
Matthew Weiner on "Don's" situation at the start of Mad Men season 7b, "Don's" relationship with "Diana" the waitress, and fan reaction to that relationship
07:38
Matthew Weiner on wrapping up each character in the final episodes of Mad Men
02:26
Matthew Weiner on relating season six of Mad Men to "A Tale of Two Cities"
02:58
Matthew Weiner on dealing with writing and directing the final scenes of Mad Men
01:52
Matthew Weiner on directing Kiernan Shipka as "Sally Draper" in her final Mad Men scenes
03:50
Matthew Weiner on "Don's" relationship with "Stephanie Horton" in the final episodes of Mad Men and the running list of story ideas for the show
04:57
Matthew Weiner on Mark Moses as "Herman 'Duck' Phillips" on Mad Men and stories they never got around to doing
05:03
Matthew Weiner on getting "Stan" and "Peggy" together at the end of Mad Men
03:47
Matthew Weiner on wrapping up various stories on Mad Men
04:31
Matthew Weiner on using real life products and companies on Mad Men leading up to the Coca-Cola commercial finale 
06:11
Matthew Weiner on how he believes Mad Men will be viewed in the future 
05:37
Matthew Weiner on getting Mad Men  memorabilia into museums
01:04
Matthew Weiner on what he misses about Mad Men and what the end was like for him
04:55

Terence Winter

View Interview
Terence Winter on reading Matthew Weiner's pilot for Mad Men when Weiner interviewed for The Sopranos
00:57

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