AMC is having one heck of a rocky off-season.
Back in the spring, “Mad Men” negotiations threatened the show’s return indefinitely — and ultimately, to the chagrin of Draper devotees everywhere, pushed it to the winter of 2012.
Just last week, “The Walking Dead” replaced its showrunner (although, as we pointed out, that’s not necessarily the biggest deal).
And now, the effort to bring back “Breaking Bad” has turned so ugly that FX has reportedly been approached about taking on the show.
There’s a chance that by the fall — OK, considering “Mad Men,” the winter — this will all be behind AMC, and the happily-Tivoing consumer will be none the wiser.
But right now — whether this is the case or not — they’re coming off like a company living beyond their means.
None of these three shows come at bargain prices — “Mad Men,” in particular, is a bank-breaker.
And cable nets don’t have big-network money to throw around.
Still, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about cutting costs — and quibbling over staff contracts, when inevitably someone’s going to talk to the press about it, isn’t the smartest method.
Thanks to “Mad Men,” AMC has been able to brand itself as an eager, nascent home for brilliant Hollywood creators who’ve been screwed repeatedly by networks set in their ways.
To maintain that burgeoning rep, they have to not become one of those screwers.
And the way to do that without going broke is to look to what other frugal cable nets are doing.
FX makes artful comedies on shoestring budgets. Turner employs super-efficient series order structures.
Maybe neither of those work for AMC, but it has to figure out what does.
And in the meantime, here’s a good place to start: don’t order anymore gorgeous, expensive shows.
You already have three.
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