Is Matthew Weiner Being Replaced?

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Mary Jo Vath's Chrysanthemum and Truffle (2004). Photo: Getty Images

Probably not! Last night, Vulture buddy Nikki Finke ran a post claiming that during negotiations for Mad Men's upcoming third season, Lionsgate was blindsided by creator Matthew Weiner's asking price ($10 million a year), so they called around, inquiring about the availability of other big-name showrunners (Aaron Sorkin's name allegedly came up) that could possibly serve as his replacement. Since Nikki Finke is generally correct about all things, we don't doubt that these phone calls took place. But shortly after Finke's item went live, Defamer rebutted the whole thing citing "an insider" who claims Lionsgate is totally not looking to replace Weiner. Then, not much later, Defamer removed the post (Update: It's back up!), which we've managed to preserve through the magic of RSS technology. See it after the jump!

A rumor that Lionsgate is approaching various agencies in search of a Mad Men showrunner to replace a too-rich-for-their-blood Matthew Weiner was shot down by an insider, who told Defamer the negotiations had just begun, and that while he asked high, they were absolutely "not looking to replace him. He IS the show." Fret not, Mad Men fans still in mourning over the end of Season 2 and sweating the fate of Season 3: the studio is confident the deal will close before Christmas. (And without the celebrity dancing competition Jon Hamm promised in his SNL monologue.)

Did they get bad info? Or did their source freak out and demand the item pulled? And, most important, would Lionsgate and AMC really put their Emmy-winning BEST SHOW EVER at risk by turning the fate of Don Draper over to some other random dude? We don't know, we don't know, and we doubt it. Surely Matthew Weiner will be back for another season — he's as big a part of Mad Men as the photocopier!

Lionsgate Must Be Staffed By Mad Men; Execs Look To Replace Creator Weiner [Deadline Hollywood Daily]

Earlier: ‘Mad Men’ Picked Up for Third Season — But Matthew Weiner Might Not Be Back?