With the final season of “Mad Men” set to premiere in a couple weeks, it’s a time of reflection for the cast and crew of the prestigious show. To that introspective and nostalgic end, all those involved with the show sat down with THR for an oral history on the origins of Matthew Weiner’s magnus opus, and some unexpected things were learned.
The most tantalizing detail in the extensive history — as noted by the AV Club — is that AMC was very interested in having a spinoff of the period drama. During the contentious negotiations for Weiner’s contract following the fourth season — which sidelined the show for a year — the network kept asking for a spinoff to be included as part of the deal even though the execs had no idea what kind of spinoff they wanted.
“When we first started negotiating with AMC, one of the things they wanted was a spinoff,” Lionsgate Chief Operating Officer Sandra Stern told the trade. “We talked about doing a contemporary one. Given the fact that [Mad Men] ends nearly 50 years ago, most of the characters would be dead. Sally was the one character young enough that you could see her 30 or 40 years later. There was a time we wanted a Peggy spinoff, too, and, a la ‘Better Call Saul,’ a minor character going off to L.A. Matt wasn’t comfortable committing to a spinoff.”
It’s a tantalizing thought, and one wonders with the show wrapping up, if they aren’t still thinking of ways to perhaps keep those very fans from going elsewhere. And when we half-jokingly mentioned the idea of a Peggy oriented spinoff to Elisabeth Moss last year, she was into the idea, with a couple of demands. “Absolutely. [Laughs] 100% but only if it’s written by Matt Weiner. That would be my one condition. Although, I do think we should get Joan in there. I feel like if there’s going to be a spinoff, I’d really rather not carry that by myself, I think it should be Peggy and Joan,” she laughed.
The rest of the oral history is filled with other great anecdotes about the show’s history like the revelation of the actors that unsuccessfully auditioned for the would-be classic show, names that include all the non-Ashton Kutcher guys from “That ’70s Show.” Read the entire piece at THR and let us know what your dream “Mad Men” spinoff would be if you had the power. Our pick? Peggy and her neighbor Julio in a spinoff-cum-“Odd Couple” reboot.