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Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 03/30/2011

‘Mad Men’: The blogosphere starts issuing pink slips

The “Mad Men” season five crisis is still spawning much consternation on the Interwebs after yesterday’s developments.

To recap, those developments were:

“Mad Men” might be canceled! (Boo!)

No, wait. AMC says it’s coming back in 2012. (Phew.)

But hold up: Is it coming back without show creator Matthew Weiner? (Uh-oh.)

Anyone else have whiplash?

One of the juiciest alleged points of contention in the negotiation between Weiner and AMC/Lionsgate has been the notion that two regular cast members will have to be let go to keep productions costs down. The Wrap reported that Weiner says that number may be closer to six than two. Meanwhile, an AMC source told me yesterday that there was no talk of eliminating major characters, just a request to consider whether an actor should be signed as a regular when he or she only says a couple of lines during an entire season. (The Wrap also cited the same information from an AMC source.)

The bottom line is that all this talk of firing might not have any merit. But that hasn't stopped a number of media outlets from suggesting which characters should get canned in this hypothetical scenario.

Vanity Fair’s Juli Weiner — no relation to Matthew, apparently — has proposed that Betty Francis and Harry Crane could easily disappear without negatively impacting the series.

Wait, someone said something negative about Betty Francis? I can’t believe it. And she’s not the only one.

Both Slate and the Atlantic also cite Francis as a solid option for the axe, along with Lane Pryce and Roger Sterling. (Roger is indispensable in my book. Who else can climb 23 flights of stairs and puke like that guy?)

The Atlantic and Vulture mention Ken Cosgrove as a possibility, too.

But no one has brought up the most obvious choice: Henry Francis, husband of Betty and a man who already seems to be tiring of her moodiness. I suggested last season that he could easily have been killed. All this talk of budgetary issues provides the perfect excuse to follow through.

Undoubtedly the issuing of imaginary “Mad Men” pink slips will continue even though, again, there might not be any cast eliminations. Either way, this gives us bloggers something to do while we await the latest development in the Weiner-said-vs.-AMC-said debate.

By  |  12:20 PM ET, 03/30/2011

 
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