|Created by||Matthew Weiner|
|Opening theme||"A Beautiful Mine" (Instrumental)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||78 (List of episodes)|
|Location(s)||Los Angeles, California|
|Running time||47 minutes|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||July 19, 2007– present|
Mad Men is an American television period drama series created and produced by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on July 19, 2007 on the American cable network AMC and is produced by Lionsgate Television. The seventh and final season will have 14 episodes that will be split into two seven-episode parts, airing in early 2014 and 2015. The first half of the final season will premiere on April 13, 2014.
Mad Men is set in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at the newly created firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (later Sterling Cooper & Partners), located nearby in the Time-Life Building, at 1271 Avenue of the Americas. According to the show's pilot, the phrase "Mad men" was a slang term coined in the 1950s by advertisers working on Madison Avenue to refer to themselves, a claim that has since been refuted. The focal point of the series is Don Draper (Jon Hamm), creative director at Sterling Cooper and a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and the people in his life, both in and out of the office. The plot focuses on the business of the agencies as well as the personal lives of the characters, regularly depicting the changing moods and social mores of the United States in the 1960s.
Mad Men has received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its historical authenticity, visual style, costume design, acting, writing, and directing, and has won many awards, including fifteen Emmys and four Golden Globes. It is the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, winning it in each of its first four seasons. In 2013, TV Guide ranked it sixth in its list of the sixty greatest dramas of all time, and it was ranked seventh in a list of the 101 best-written TV series of all time by the Writers Guild of America.
- 1 Production
- 2 Characters
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Themes and motifs
- 5 Reception
- 6 Parodies
- 7 Marketing
- 8 Product placement
- 9 Reading lists
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In 2000, while working as a staff writer for Becker, Matthew Weiner wrote the first draft for the pilot of what would later be called Mad Men as a spec script. Television producer David Chase recruited Weiner to work as a writer on his HBO series The Sopranos after reading the pilot script in 2002. "It was lively, and it had something new to say," Chase said. "Here was someone [Weiner] who had written a story about advertising in the 1960s, and was looking at recent American history through that prism." Weiner set the pilot script aside for the next seven years — during which time neither HBO nor Showtime expressed interest in the project—until The Sopranos was completing its final season and cable network AMC happened to be in the market for new programming. "The network was looking for distinction in launching its first original series," according to AMC Networks president Ed Carroll, "and we took a bet that quality would win out over formulaic mass appeal."
They have a lot of production meetings during pre-production. The day the script comes in we all meet for a first page turn, and Matt starts telling us how he envisions it. Then there's a 'tone' meeting a few days later where Matt tells us how he envisions it. And then there's a final full crew production meeting where Matt again tells us how he envisions it...
Filming and production design
The pilot episode was shot at Silvercup Studios and various locations around New York City; subsequent episodes have been filmed at Los Angeles Center Studios. It is available in high definition for showing on AMC HD and on video-on-demand services available from various cable affiliates. The writers, including Weiner, amassed volumes of research on the period in which Mad Men takes place so as to make most aspects of the series—including detailed set designs, costume design, and props—historically accurate, producing an authentic visual style that garnered critical praise. Each episode has a budget between US$2–2.5 million, though the pilot episode's budget was over $3 million. On the scenes featuring smoking, Weiner stated: "Doing this show without smoking would've been a joke. It would've been sanitary and it would've been phony." Since the actors cannot, by California law, smoke tobacco cigarettes in their workplace, they instead smoke herbal cigarettes. Robert Morse was cast in the role of senior partner Bertram Cooper; Morse starred in two 1967 films about amoral businessmen, A Guide for the Married Man (1967), a source of inspiration for Weiner, and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (1967), in which Morse recreated his role from the 1961 Broadway play of the same name, (and which was itself based on a satiric novel by a former executive at the now-defunct New York ad agency, Benton & Bowles, Inc.).
Weiner collaborated with cinematographer Phil Abraham and production designers Robert Shaw (who worked on the pilot only) and Dan Bishop to develop a visual style that was "influenced more by cinema than television." Alan Taylor, a veteran director of The Sopranos, directed the pilot and also helped establish the series' visual tone. To convey an "air of mystery" around Don Draper, Taylor tended to shoot from behind him or would frame him partially obscured. Many scenes set at Sterling Cooper were shot lower-than-eyeline to incorporate the ceilings into the composition of frame; this reflects the photography, graphic design and architecture of the period. Alan felt that neither steadicam nor handheld camera work would be appropriate to the "visual grammar of that time, and that aesthetic didn’t mesh with [their] classic approach"—accordingly, the sets were designed to be practical for dolly work.
According to a 2011 Miller Tabak + Company estimate published in Barron's, Lions Gate Entertainment receives an estimated $2.71 million from AMC for each episode, a little less than the $2.84 million each episode costs to produce.
In March 2011, after negotiations between the network and the series' creator, AMC picked up Mad Men for a fifth season, which premiered on March 25, 2012. Weiner reportedly signed a $30 million contract, which will keep him at the helm of the show for three more seasons. A couple of weeks later, a Marie Claire interview with January Jones was published, noting the limits to that financial success when it comes to the actors: "We don’t get paid very much on the show and that’s well-documented. On the other hand, when you do television you have a steady paycheck each week, so that’s nice."
Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce wrote that sales from home video and iTunes could amount to $100 million in revenue during the show's expected seven-year run, with international syndication sales bringing in an additional estimated $700,000 per episode. That does not include the $71 to $100 million estimated to come from a Netflix streaming video deal announced in April 2011.
Episode credit and title sequences
The opening title sequence features credits superimposed over a graphic animation of a businessman falling from a height, surrounded by skyscrapers with reflections of period advertising posters and billboards, accompanied by a short edit of the instrumental "A Beautiful Mine" by RJD2. The businessman appears as a black-and-white silhouette. The titles, created by production house Imaginary Forces, pay homage to graphic designer Saul Bass's skyscraper-filled opening titles for Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959) and falling man movie poster for Vertigo (1958); Weiner has listed Hitchcock as a major influence on the visual style of the series. David Carbonara composes the original score for the series. Mad Men – Original Score Vol. 1 was released on January 13, 2009.
At the end of almost all episodes, the show either fades to black or smash cut to black as period music or a theme by series composer, David Carbonara, plays during the ending credits; at least one episode ends with silence or ambient sounds. A few episodes have ended with more recent popular music, or with a diegetic song dissolving into the credits music. The Beatles authorized the use of "Tomorrow Never Knows" for the season 5 episode "Lady Lazarus", and the same track was used over the closing credits. It marked a rare instance where the band licensed their music for a television series. Lionsgate, which produces Mad Men, paid $250,000 for the use of the song in the episode. Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice It's All Right" ended the last episode of Season 1.
In addition to having created the series, Matthew Weiner is the show runner, head writer, and an executive producer; he contributes to each episode—writing or co-writing the scripts, casting various roles, and approving costume and set designs. He is notorious for being selective about all aspects of the series, and promotes a high level of secrecy around production details. Tom Palmer served as a co-executive producer and writer on the first season. Scott Hornbacher (who later became an executive producer), Todd London, Lisa Albert, Andre Jacquemetton, and Maria Jacquemetton were producers on the first season. Palmer, Albert, Andre Jacquemetton, and Maria Jacquemetton were also writers on the first season. Bridget Bedard, Chris Provenzano, and writer's assistant Robin Veith complete the first season writing team.
Albert, Andre Jacquemetton, and Maria Jacquemetton returned as supervising producers for the second season. Veith also returned and was promoted to staff writer. Hornbacher replaced Palmer as co-executive producer for the second season. Consulting producers David Isaacs, Marti Noxon, Rick Cleveland, and Jane Anderson joined the crew for the second season. Weiner, Albert, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Veith, Noxon, Cleveland and Anderson were all writers for the second season. New writer's assistant Kater Gordon was the season's other writer. Isaacs, Cleveland and Anderson left the crew at the end of the second season.
Albert remained a supervising producer for the third season but Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton became consulting producers. Hornbacher was promoted again, this time to executive producer. Veith returned as a story editor and Gordon became a staff writer. Noxon remained a consulting producer and was joined by new consulting producer Frank Pierson. Dahvi Waller joined the crew as a co-producer. Weiner, Albert, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Veith, Noxon and Waller were all writers for the third season. New writer's assistant Erin Levy, executive story editor Cathryn Humphris, script co-ordinator Brett Johnson and freelance writer Andrew Colville complete the third season writing staff.
Alan Taylor, Phil Abraham, Jennifer Getzinger, Lesli Linka Glatter, Tim Hunter, Andrew Bernstein, and Michael Uppendahl are regular directors for the series. Matthew Weiner directs the season finales. Cast members John Slattery and Jon Hamm have also directed episodes.
As of the third season, seven of the nine writers for the show are women, in contrast to Writers Guild of America 2006 statistics that show male writers outnumber female writers by 2 to 1. As Maria Jacquemetton noted:
We have a predominately female writing staff—women from their early 20s to their 50s—and plenty of female department heads and directors. [Show creator] Matt Weiner and [executive producer] Scott Hornbacher hire people they believe in, based on their talent and their experience. "Can you capture this world? Can you bring great storytelling?"
Mad Men focuses mostly on Don Draper, although it features an ensemble cast representing several segments of society in 1960s New York. Mad Men places emphasis on recollective progression as a means of revealing the characters' past.
- Don Draper (Jon Hamm): Creative director and junior partner of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency and, as of the sixth season, a partner of Sterling Cooper & Partners, he is the series' main character. He is a hard-drinking, chain-smoking executive with a shadowy past who has achieved success in advertising. He was married to Elizabeth "Betty" Draper and has three children with her, but his history of infidelity, along with his revelations to her about his past led to their separation at the end of season three and eventual divorce. Draper's real name is Richard "Dick" Whitman; during the Korean War, he assumed the identity of Lieutenant Don Draper, who was killed in front of Whitman. Draper was due to be sent home, so by switching dog tags with Draper, Dick found a way to escape his rural, traditional family.
- Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss): Olson rises from being Draper's secretary to being a copywriter with her own office. She becomes pregnant with Pete Campbell's child, a pregnancy that neither she nor her family or coworkers seem to notice, until she goes to the emergency room due to illness, and they tell her she is in labor. Campbell is unaware of her pregnancy until the end of season 2, when Peggy tells him that she gave the baby up for adoption. In season three, Peggy is approached by Duck Phillips to leave Sterling Cooper, but turns him down, despite the fact that his persistence leads to a romantic relationship. While he rarely acknowledges it, Don appreciates Peggy's abilities, leading him to choose her to go with him to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. She is given more freedom to come up with her own creative advertising ideas, with Don always pushing her to be better. During season five, Peggy feels increasingly unappreciated and patronized by Draper. In the episode "The Other Woman", she leaves SCDP to accept an offer to become head copywriter at Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough, though the agency merges with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in season six to once again place her under Draper's leadership.
- Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser): A young, ambitious account executive from an old New York family with connections and a privileged background. Campbell tries to blackmail Don Draper with the Dick Whitman information he has learned, but it doesn't work. Don and he are antagonistic some of the time, but later develop a grudging respect for each other, culminating in Don's approaching Pete over Ken Cosgrove when forming a new agency. Campbell and his wife, Trudy, were unable to conceive a child early in their marriage, and he only learned of his child with Olson at the season two finale. At the end of season three, dissatisfied with his treatment at Sterling Cooper regarding a promotion, he secretly plans to leave the firm. Unaware of this, Don Draper approaches Campbell with an offer to join his new firm as long as Pete brings accounts worth $8 million of cash flow. Campbell decides to join Draper, with the condition that he be made a partner, though his surname does not appear in the new firm's name (Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce). Campbell is one of the few characters in the show who does not smoke, though he is seen smoking marijuana on one occasion. He looks up to Don in many ways. Campbell is often shown cheating on his wife, and is not above manipulating and blackmailing women to get them to sleep with him.
- Betty Francis (née Hofstadt, formerly Draper) (January Jones): Don Draper's ex-wife and mother of their three children, Sally, Bobby, and Eugene Scott. Raised in the Philadelphia suburb of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she met Don when she was a model in Manhattan and married him soon thereafter. At the start of the series, they have been married for seven years (1953–1960) and live in Ossining, New York. Over the course of the first two seasons, Betty gradually becomes aware of her husband's womanizing. After a brief separation, Betty allows Don to return home when she learns she is pregnant with their third child, but first has a one-night stand of her own. She leaves for Reno at the end of season three, in December 1963, with the intention of divorcing Don. At the start of season four, in November 1964, she has divorced Don and married Henry Francis. She, the children, and her new husband move to Rye. Betty's relationship with her children is often strained, in particular with Sally.
- Joan Holloway (later Harris) (Christina Hendricks): Office manager and head of the secretarial pool at Sterling Cooper. She had a long-term affair with Roger Sterling until his two heart attacks caused him to end the relationship. In season two, she becomes engaged to Dr. Greg Harris. By season three, they are married and at Greg's request Joan quits her job at Sterling Cooper. Their marriage becomes tested when Greg's difficulties securing work as a surgeon force Joan to return to work at a department store, prompting her to call Roger Sterling to ask for his help in finding an office job. Because of her invaluable managerial skills, she is later hired for the new agency formed by Don, Roger, Bert and Lane. Meanwhile, Greg's desire to further his career as a surgeon leads him to obtain a commission in the Army, and early in season four he is sent to basic training and then to Vietnam. While her husband is deployed, Joan and Roger have one sexual encounter, which results in her becoming pregnant. Joan initially decides to terminate the pregnancy, but changes her mind and gives birth shortly before the beginning of season five, with her husband unaware he is not the father. Greg returns from Vietnam during Season five, but he and Joan separate and are divorced by the end of the season. By the close of season five, Joan has become a full partner in SCDP, albeit under very unpleasant circumstances.
- Roger Sterling (John Slattery); recurring season one, regular season two to present: One of the two senior partners of Sterling Cooper, and one-time mentor to Don Draper. His father founded the firm with Bertram Cooper, hence his name comes before Cooper's in the firm's title. A picture in Cooper's office shows Roger as a child alongside Cooper as a young adult. In season two, Bertram Cooper mentions that "the late Mrs. Cooper" introduced Sterling to his wife, Mona, whom Sterling is in the process of divorcing in favor of Don's former secretary, 22-year-old Jane. Sterling, a World War II Navy veteran, was a notorious womanizer (living like he was "on shore leave") until two heart attacks changed his perspective, although they did not affect his drinking or smoking habits, which remained excessive. Prior to his marriage to Jane, Roger had a longstanding affair with Joan Holloway. In season four, he and Joan have a brief romantic encounter, and Joan becomes pregnant. It was revealed in season three that sometime in the mid-1950s, when Don was a salesman at a furrier, and eager to break into advertising, Roger met him and through that connection Don was hired. Season four also has Roger less involved with the day-to-day activities at SCDP than he was at Sterling Cooper. His primary function is to manage the Lucky Strike account, which is responsible for over half of SCDP's billings. However, in the episode "Chinese Wall," it is revealed that Lucky Strike is moving its account to a rival agency, forcing a dramatic downsizing of the firm. During season five, however, Roger is given new accounts to handle.
- Kenneth "Ken" Cosgrove (Aaron Staton): A young account executive originally from Vermont. Outside the office, Ken is an aspiring author who had a short story published in The Atlantic, which is a source of some envy by his co-workers, particularly the competitive Paul Kinsey and jealous Pete Campbell. According to his bio in The Atlantic, Ken attended Columbia University. His wife is Cynthia. He has one admirer, art director Salvatore, who secretly has a crush on him. Ken was promoted in the beginning of season 3 to Account Director, a role he shared with Pete Campbell. Later on, the more easy-going Ken is promoted over the more ambitious Campbell to Senior Vice President of Account Services. However, at the end of season 3, Draper and Sterling choose Pete over Ken for their new agency. During season 4, Ken joins SCDP after working for McCann Erickson (which bought Sterling Cooper) and BBDO. When Pete learns of Ken's return, he is initially upset with Lane Pryce for not telling him, since Pryce had authorized Ken's previous promotion over Pete. However, when Ken agrees to serve under Pete as accounts manager at SCDP, the two reconcile over lunch and Pete comes to realize that Ken is a practical choice to help bring new business to the firm. In season 5 it is discovered that Ken secretly writes science fiction short stories. In Season 6, he is wounded in the eye during a hunting accident with SCDP clients, Chevrolet.
- Harold "Harry" Crane (Rich Sommer): A bespectacled media buyer and head of Sterling Cooper's television department, which is created at Harry's initiative. Unlike his mostly Ivy League fellows, Harry went to the University of Wisconsin. Harry joins his colleagues in drinking and flirtations, though he is a dedicated husband and father. However, he does have a drunken one-night stand with Pete's secretary in season 1, which leads to his being briefly kicked out of his home by his wife, Jennifer. He is ultimately coerced by Draper and Cooper into joining Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, although he comes to the realization that it is the right move on his own. When Sterling Cooper was in the process of being sold, Harry mistakenly thinks they are considering opening a West Coast office and believes that he would be the person to move to California. Harry later becomes a bit of a braggart, who is overly fond of discussing his Hollywood connections. In season five he has abandoned his faithfulness to his wife as he discusses having affairs while abroad on business and is easily seduced by Paul's Hare Krishna girlfriend Lakshmi in his office. He also becomes increasingly image-conscious and petty, culminating in Season 6 when he explodes at Joan, venting his frustration over her being made partner when he was not.
- Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis); regular seasons one to three, guest star season five: A creative copywriter and Princeton University alumnus, the bearded, pipe-smoking Paul prides himself on his politically liberal views. Some time before the series began he had a relationship with Joan Holloway which ended badly, largely because Paul talked about it too much. Paul tried, unsuccessfully, to date Peggy soon after she was hired by Sterling Cooper. Through most of the second season, Paul dated Sheila White, an African-American woman from South Orange, New Jersey. They broke up while in Oxford, Mississippi, where they had gone as Freedom Riders to oppose segregation in the South. It is a source of pride for Kinsey to live in the low-income, southern section of Montclair, New Jersey; Joan, however, mocks him for his hypocritical attitude. He is highly competitive, an attribute revealed to have soured a few friendships while he was in college, and which causes friction with Peggy, who quickly proves to be a superior copywriter than he. He is furious upon discovering that Don chose Peggy for the new agency over him. Paul did not appear after the third season finale until he reappeared in the tenth episode of the fifth season, revealing himself to Harry as a disciple of Krishna Consciousness. Paul asks Harry to look at a Star Trek script he wrote, which Harry thinks is awful. Although Harry later realizes that Paul's girlfriend is manipulating him because of his recruiting skills with the Krishna movement, he encourages Paul to follow his dreams. Harry gives Paul $500.00 and tells him to get to Los Angeles as soon as possible.
- Salvatore "Sal" Romano (Bryan Batt); regular seasons one to three: The Italian-American former art director at Sterling Cooper. Sal is a closeted homosexual. Reluctant to act upon his homosexuality, he twice avoided sexual encounters with different men. By 1962, Sal had married Kitty, who seems unaware of Sal's sexual orientation, yet begins to realize that something is amiss in their relationship. The issue of being closeted for Sal is shown in brief but stark contrast against the newly evolving social attitudes toward homosexuality. Sal's secret crush on Ken Cosgrove comes uncomfortably and awkwardly close to being revealed during a dinner in Sal's apartment. Later, when a recently hired young advertising exec, Kurt, casually announces his homosexuality, Sal remains painfully silent while his fellow co-workers speak disparagingly about Kurt. In the premiere of season 3, Sal has a brief interrupted homosexual encounter with a hotel employee while in Baltimore, the end of which Don accidentally witnesses. Don, who was in the midst of a heterosexual encounter of his own at the same hotel, finesses this uncomfortable situation through a coded conversation about their current client, London Fog. He suggests the tagline "Limit your exposure." Later in season 3, Sal rebuffs the sexual advances of Lee Garner Jr., the drunken playboy son of Lucky Strike's founder and a key client. Angered by the rejection, the client demands Sal be removed from the campaign and Don fires Sal in order to appease the client and keep his $25 million account. In a conversation right after the firing, Don shakes his head at Sal, saying "you people."  At the end of the episode, Sal is seen calling his wife Kitty from a phone booth (presumably in Central Park), in an area frequented by gay men cruising for sex. On the phone, Sal explains to Kitty he would be working late that night. Sal has not appeared again in the series to date.
- Bertram "Bert" Cooper (Robert Morse); recurring seasons one to two, regular season three to present: The somewhat eccentric senior partner at Sterling Cooper. He leaves the day-to-day running of the firm to Sterling and Draper, but is keenly aware of the firm's operations. Bertram is a Republican. He is fascinated by Japanese culture, requiring everybody, including clients, to remove their shoes before walking into his office (which is decorated with Japanese art). He is a fan of the writings of Ayn Rand. Among his eccentricities, Bert frequently walks through the offices in his socks and intensely dislikes gum-chewing and smoking (an oddity for the time, especially considering Lucky Strike cigarettes is a major client). He owns a ranch in Montana and is a widower with no children. Don approaches him about buying back the agency at the end of the third season, which evolves into their forming the new Sterling Cooper firm. In season 4, Don and Peggy stumble upon an audio tape recording of Roger Sterling's memoirs that reveals that Bert received a war injury to his groin, and that ultimately he was castrated by an incompetent doctor. Later in season 4, in the episode "Blowing Smoke", when the agency is forced to radically downsize its staff following the loss of the Lucky Strike account, Bert tells the others that he is quitting the business. He isn't seen for the rest of the season, but is back at work at the beginning of season 5.
- Sally Beth Draper (Kiernan Shipka); recurring seasons one to three, regular season four to present: The eldest child of Don and Betty Draper; her relationship with her mother is often strained. Sally is a minor character through the first two seasons, but assumes a larger role during the third season as she approaches adolescence. She forms a strong bond with her grandfather, Gene Hofstadt, when he comes to live with the Drapers, and is devastated by his sudden death. She also becomes distraught when Don and Betty break the news that they are getting a divorce, reproaching her father for breaking his promise to always be there, and accusing her mother of making him leave. She also develops a relationship with Glen, a boy who lives down the street from her that her mother does not approve of. When Don marries Megan Calvet, Sally establishes a positive relationship with Megan. Sally's mom, Betty, is extremely jealous of this relationship and seeks to sabotage it at one point.
- Rachel Katz (née Menken) (Maggie Siff); regular season one, guest star season two: The Jewish head of a department store who comes to Sterling Cooper in search of an advertising agency to revamp her business's image. She is initially cool with Don Draper, who bristles at her assertive, independent image, but they warm to each other and eventually begin an affair. In the course of their affair, Don tells her things he has not shared with Midge Daniels (his previous mistresses) or his wife. When Don is blackmailed by Pete Campbell, he comes to Rachel with the suggestion that they run away together to Los Angeles. She reminds him of his duty to his children, and questions whether he would want to abandon his children after having grown up without a father. When Don persists, Rachel comes to the realization that he didn't want to run away with her, he just wanted to run away. She angrily calls him a coward and throws him out. Their friendship seems to collapse from that point on. Don encounters her again in season 2 while out to eat with Bobbie Barrett, finding out that Rachel is now Mrs. Katz, having since married a man named Tilden Katz. Though it appears that Don is only momentarily shaken by the news of her marriage, several episodes later, after drinking heavily with Roger and Freddie Rumsen, he gives his name as "Tilden Katz" to the bouncer of an underground club Roger is trying to get them into.
- Lane Pryce (Jared Harris); recurring season three, regular seasons four to five: The English financial officer installed by Sterling Cooper's new British parent company. He first appears in the first episode of season 3. His role is that of a strict taskmaster who brings spending under control, in particular by cutting out frivolous expenses. His efforts are so successful he is to be sent to India to enact cost-cutting measures, a move which Pryce is not looking forward to after having settled in with his wife and child in New York. An unfortunate accident at work handicaps his replacement, thus allowing Pryce to keep his current position. Pryce warms to American culture, and foresees some form of cultural and societal changes in his observations on American race relations. When Putnam, Powell, and Lowe is sold, he realizes he has become expendable, and negotiates to become a founding partner in the new agency alongside Don Draper, Bert Cooper, and Roger Sterling, Jr., and, at Draper's suggestion, freeing Sterling, Cooper, and Draper from their contractual non-compete clauses by firing them, then getting fired himself, enabling the four of them to start their own firm. Pryce liquidates his portfolio in order to pay for his partnership in the new firm and is in financial difficulty while SCDP was establishing itself. He faces a crisis when Inland Revenue demanded immediate payment of his British back taxes. In order to pay the debt, Pryce secretly negotiates a $50,000 line of credit on behalf of the firm and announces to the partners that the SCDP has a $50,000 profit and is able to pay bonuses. In anticipation of the bonus, Pryce forges Draper's signature on an early bonus check to himself, and views it as a 13-day loan which will be made good once the bonuses are paid. However, the partners decide to forego their bonuses despite Pryce's pleading. In the penultimate episode of season 5, Cooper discovers the cancelled check and confronts Draper, who in turn confronts Pryce demanding his resignation. That weekend, Pryce types out a resignation letter and hangs himself in his office.
- Megan Draper (née Calvet) (Jessica Paré); recurring season four, regular season five to present: Don's wife (as of the beginning of season 5) and a junior copy writer at SCDP. Following the death of Miss Blankenship, she takes over as Don Draper's secretary. In the season 4 finale, Don takes Megan on a trip to California to take care of his kids. In spite of being involved with Faye, a marketing research consultant who works with SCDP, he proposes marriage to Megan after returning from California and she accepts. In the episode "Lady Lazarus", she leaves the firm to pursue her dream of acting, and (with the help of Don) lands her first acting gig in one of SCDP's commercials by the season 5 finale. Don seems to be more honest with Megan than he was with Betty, apparently telling Megan about his true identity between seasons 4 and 5. At the same time, he retains some of those possessive qualities he displayed during his previous marriage, although Megan is more apt to be resistant and even combative than Betty. Megan is originally from Montreal, and French is her first language.
- Stan Rizzo (Jay R. Ferguson); recurring season four, regular season five to present: The art director at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Before coming to the company, he worked for Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 Presidential campaign. He and Peggy are often at odds with each other due to his abrasive attitude, although the two later develop a strong working relationship after Peggy challenges Stan over working in the nude for a campaign, which Stan gruffly concedes to her. Stan is one of the few members of the SCDP creative department who survives the staff cuts.
- Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley); recurring seasons three to four, regular season five to present: A political adviser with close connections to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and the Republican Party, it is later revealed that he serves as the Director of Public Relations and Research in the Governor's Office. He is instantly infatuated with the six-months pregnant Betty Draper when he meets her at the Sterlings' Kentucky Derby party while she is waiting by the women's restroom. Later, as he is called upon by Betty Draper and some of her friends to use his influence to save a local reservoir, they develop a personal connection. Betty reciprocates Henry's attention because she increasingly feels no connection with Don due to his non-stop infidelities, lies over his true identity, and his dismissive and sometimes verbally abusive attitude towards her. After the death of Betty's beloved father, the much older Henry also serves as a replacement father-figure for her. Henry and Betty have only a few brief and furtive meetings before Henry proposes marriage in the wake of the Kennedy assassinations. Season 3 ends with the two of them on a plane with baby Gene, presumably flying to Reno so Betty can obtain a quick divorce from Don. At the start of season 4, we see that Henry and Betty have married and Henry has rather uncomfortably taken up residence in the Drapers' house, living with Betty and her three children and paying rent to Don. He tries to soothe Betty as she continues to react angrily to Don and his irresponsibility towards the children, but gets more fed up over time. Betty, on her part, feels unaccepted by Henry's family, especially when she is unable to control Sally during a family visit to Henry's mother's house. At the end of season 4, they decide to move to Rye, NY. Their relationship during Season 5 seems to be more affectionate, though Henry still has occasion to lose his temper with Betty from time to time.
- Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm); recurring seasons four to five, regular season six to present: A self-proclaimed rival of Don Draper in the advertising world, his agency — Cutler Gleason and Chaough (CGC) — was in competition with SCDP for an account with Honda. Don tricked Ted into making an expensive presentation to Honda executives, which backfired on Ted as he violated Honda's presentation rules (no finished work or commercials allowed at the presentation). Though the two agencies are comparable in size, he seems obsessed with competing against Don. Ted also tried to woo Pete Campbell over to his agency. After Don writes his New York Times ad about dropping business with cigarette companies, Ted makes a prank call to Don pretending to be Robert F. Kennedy. When he returns in Season 5 to recruit Peggy to leave SCDP and join his advertising firm, he remains very confident but is much less obnoxious than in his previous appearances; he doesn't indulge his typical dislike and jealousy of Don to Peggy, and that helps her decide to accept his offer, which in the season finale has him assigning her a huge amount of material involving an account for cigarettes aimed at female consumers. During Season 6, Ted and Don impulsively decide to merge their smaller firms together so as to compete with the larger ones; however, this leads to numerous small struggles for power between them. In the season 6 finale, Ted moves to a California SC&P office to have a "new start" after a short-lived affair with Peggy.
- Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman); recurring season five, regular season six to present: First appearing in the episode "Tea Leaves" (season 5, episode 3), Michael is hired as a part-time copywriter by Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. He is initially hired to service the Mohawk account, and proves himself to be both prolific and innovative. He quickly becomes an essential part of the creative team and surpasses Peggy Olson midway through the season as the firm's most productive writer, when Peggy becomes mired in the Heinz story arc. Ginsberg is an idiosyncratic, socially awkward character who tends to speak his mind, which can be both a help and hindrance to him. Indeed, his position at the firm is threatened at times, including at his interview, when Peggy decides not to employ him for fear of his being too extroverted for Don's tastes. However, this decision is reversed by Roger, who has already told Mohawk that they have taken him on. As the firms only Jewish copywriter, Roger uses this to his advantage to help Jewish clients, like Manischewitz. His role at SCDP becomes more integral after Peggy leaves the agency, though he commands almost none of the respect and support from Don that she did.
- Robert "Bobby" Draper (Mason Vale Cotton; previously Maxwell Huckabee, Aaron Hart, and Jared Gilmore) recurring seasons one through five; regular season six to present: The middle child of Don and Betty Draper. He was referred to by his mother Betty as a "little liar". Bobby was mentioned as being 5 years old in the season 2 episode "The Mountain King", making his birthday between October 1956 and September 1957.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD and Blu-ray release dates|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||13||July 19, 2007||October 18, 2007||July 1, 2008||June 30, 2008||November 26, 2008|
|2||13||July 27, 2008||October 26, 2008||July 14, 2009||July 13, 2009||August 18, 2009|
|3||13||August 16, 2009||November 8, 2009||March 23, 2010||April 26, 2010||June 2, 2010|
|4||13||July 25, 2010||October 17, 2010||March 29, 2011||March 28, 2011||April 6, 2011|
|5||13||March 25, 2012||June 10, 2012||October 16, 2012||November 5, 2012||November 14, 2012|
|6||13||April 7, 2013||June 23, 2013||November 5, 2013||November 4, 2013||November 7, 2013|
|7 (Pt. I)||7||April 13, 2014||May 25, 2014||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|7 (Pt. II)||7||Spring 2015||2015||N/A||N/A||N/A|