The Uncensored, Epic, Never-Told Story Behind ‘Mad Men’

JANUARY JONES AS … PEGGY?
Casting for the pilot begins in 2006. Weiner and AMC agree on hiring unknown actors.

Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway) I was up for another pilot, and I chose Mad Men. The [agency I was with] was like, “It’s on AMC, it’s a period piece, it’s never going to go. Are you crazy? You’re not going to make money for us …” I thought it was a little impatient of them. So I moved on.

A DOG NAMED DRAPER
With production having moved to Los Angeles, Mad Men premieres July 19, 2007, to critical acclaim but faces an uphill ratings battle and an uncertain future.

Hendricks It was during the writers strike, so there was no [Globes] ceremony. We all watched it from the Chateau Marmont and we just sat there with our mouths agape. The Emmys were the next thing up.

WEINER NEARLY WALKS
Instead, in March 2011, he takes home $30 million for a three-season contract after negotiations with AMC and Lionsgate sideline the network flagship for more than a year.

Hendricks At one point I thought, “This is taking a little too long.”

A HANGING — AND A KISS OF DEATH
Finally back on the air in 2012, Weiner makes adds (and cuts) to the cast and starts plotting an endgame.

Hendricks The common area [on the set] started as a piece of AstroTurf and a little glass table with four chairs, and then one year we came back and there was a full deck with a built-in fire pit and Christmas lights.

THE LONG GOODBYE
AMC splits the final season into two parts, with the last seven episodes airing nearly a year after it wraps in July 2014.

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