Don't expect to see a new season of "Mad Men" this summer."
Lionsgate and "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner may be close to a new deal, but it won't be soon enough to get the Emmy-winning show back on the schedule for its traditional summer premiere.
"Mad Men" usually begins shooting in late April or early May. And while sources say Weiner is close to a lucrative new pact with Lionsgate, they will need at least several weeks to ramp up.
Two years ago, when Weiner's negotiations with Lionsgate dragged into January, "Mad Men" did not bow until August.
Not that AMC does not have options. The network will bow new series "The Killing" April 3. And "Breaking Bad" is slated for a fourth season premiere in July. "Breaking Bad" has also been delayed from its traditional spring premiere, which means that by the time the Bryan Cranston series returns it will not have had new episodes on for more than a year.
But clearly AMC anticipated the "Mad Men" delay.
In announcing a fifth season pickup for "Mad Men" at last January's Television Critics Association press tour, Joel Stillerman, AMC's senior vice president of original programming said: "'Mad Men' is definitely coming back for Season 5, but don't ask me when, because we're not sure yet."
The network also has the second season of "The Walking Dead" scheduled for fall and has ordered 10 episodes of western "Hell on Wheels."