Matthew Wiener, Mad Men's heralded creator, isn't sure. Or if he is, he didn't tell DailyFinance when we caught up with him Sunday night outside the 21 Club in a quiet moment during the screening of the star-studded finale for the hit show. All he could say (on the record) is that it has something to do with money.
Translation: Hey AMC -- pay up! You've got a blockbuster series on your hands. This is one deal you want to close.
AMC declined to comment Monday when asked about the status of the show, which just concluded its fourth season. The cable channel is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (CVC).
Like the show, Manhattan's 21 Club isn't an exact facsimile of a certain alcohol-drenched and tobacco-stained 1960's cultural milieu in which men were handsome buffoons and drop-dead gorgeous women were really pulling the strings the whole time. More like an admirable simulacrum.
Still, from the hired models dressed to the nines in JFK-era threads to the free flowing martinis ("Sterling Classic") and something appropriately-titled the "Deal Closer," the vibe was buoyant and worries were scant. Except for the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation, there were few cares in the air. That blend of devil-may-care hedonism and we'll-deal-with-it-tomorrow nonchalance may be why the show resonates so deeply today. When the world could end tomorrow, people tend to enjoy the present a little more vividly.
When Christina Hendricks, who plays Joanie the office manager, rolled into the 21 Club, every woman in the place suddenly lost interest in her date. "I didn't think that was physically possible," DailyFinance was informed by a Google-eyed beauty who only moments earlier had been focusing her attention on your AOL correspondent.
For the next 30 minutes, Hendricks proceeded to tear it up on the red carpet in the 21 Club's front ante-room.
Elizabeth Moss looked absolutely stunning in a sequined number, like a Greek goddess straight out of Homer. Jon Hamm seemed slightly bored, (when you're the most desired man in the United States that can happen), and a little more focused on his University of Missouri Tigers, set to play the Oklahoma Sooners next week. (Hamm was noncommittal when DailyFinance asked him to confirm that the University of Oregon Ducks are the No. 1 team in the country.)
Several dozen Chase (JPM) Sapphire members used 5,000 accrued "points" for a chance to rub shoulders with the Mad Men stars. Some came from as far away as Larchmont. The idea behind the Chase Sapphire program is to move beyond rewarding cardmembers with "stuff" and instead offer them "experiences," said Sean O'Reilly, general manager of Chase Card Services.
Amex Black, eat your heart out. (See you next season, Mr. Weiner.)