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The TV Showrunner's Roadmap by Neil Landau

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12Mine the Mystery

As recounted in TV critic and author Alan Sepinwall’s exceptional book The Revolution Was Televised, AMC was very interested in Mad Men after HBO ostensibly passed on it. AMC was getting into the original scripted one-hour drama business, and being a period piece, Mad Men seemed like a good companion to AMC’s slate of classic movies programming. AMC executive Rob Sorcher read the pilot script, penned by Soprano’s alumnus Matthew Weiner, and wanted to make it.

According to Sepinwall, Sorcher liked the script so much that he only gave Weiner one significant note:

“Don Draper Needs to Have a Secret”

The rationale behind this note—which one of my UCLA colleagues refers to as “the note beneath the note”—was that Don Draper, like ...

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