The Mad Men TV show is a 30 minute drama series on AMC about the fictional Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency executives in the 1960s. It features their lives at work in the fast-paced Madison Avenue agency that caters to huge corporations and their lives outside the office with friends, family, and lovers.
Mad Men Cast
Jon Hamm .... Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss .... Peggy Olson
Christina Hendricks .... Joan Holloway
Vincent Kartheiser .... Pete Campbell
January Jones .... Betty Draper
Aaron Staton .... Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer .... Harry Crane
John Slattery .... Roger Sterling
Robert Morse .... Bertram Cooper
Michael Gladis .... Paul Kinsey (2007-2009)
Bryan Batt .... Salvatore Romano (2007-2009)
Kiernan Shipka .... Sally Draper (2007-2009)
Mad Men Trivia
The impressive exterior shots of the building that Sterling Cooper is located in are the same as the ones used for the Union Broadcasting System (UBS) building in the 1976 movie, "Network".
Several of the actors on the Mad Men TV series also have had starring roles on other shows. To name a few; Elisabeth Moss played Zoey Bartlet on "The West Wing", Christina Hendricks had starring roles on "Beggars and Choosers" and "Kevin Hill", and John Slattery appeared on "Jack & Bobby" and "Homefront".
Before getting hired to play the role as Roger Sterling on Mad Men, John Slattery actually auditioned for the role as Don Draper.
John Slattery's real-life wife, "Talia Balsam" also plays the role of his TV wife on Mad Men. Talia is the daughter of actors Martin Balsam ("Archie Bunker's Place") and Joyce Van Patten ("Unhappily Ever After"). She is the niece of actor Dick Van Patten ("Eight is Enough") and she was the first (and so far only) wife of George Clooney ("ER TV Series").
The Mad Men Producers use the nature of the show to their advantage by making deals with companies to feature them on the show for additional advertising revenues. This has been done with American Airlines, Cadillac, Clearasil, Gillette, Heineken, Maidenform, and others so you're often watching a commercial even when you're not watching a commercial.
The Mad Men writers did comprehensive research into life in the 1960s before beginning on the scripts. Every reasonable effort was made to ensure that the clothing, props, and activities were historically accurate. Such accuracy doesn't come cheap with each episode costing between 2 to 2 1/2 million dollars to produce! The attention to detail, however, is what has made Mad Men such a hit with audiences and critics. Watching the show is like going back in a time machine!
One common criticism of the series is that the characters smoke almost continuously. In response to that criticism, series creator/head writer/executive producer "Matthew Weiner" has stated, "Doing this show without smoking would've been a joke. It would've been sanitary and it would've been phony". In fairness, historical productions should reflect the actual events of the time, not anyone's idea of the way things should have been.
According to the law in California, smoking is forbidden in the workplace so the actors actually smoke herbal cigarettes.
While the Mad Men scripts often make women appear to be possessions of the men in their lives, that again simply reflects the way things often were in the 1960s, especially in families headed by powerful men. The wives got a budget, set by their husband, to run the household and every other decision was made by the man. Just in case you think there's any sexism going on there on the part of the writers you should know that by the third season there were seven women and only two men on the writing staff. Some of those women writers are old enough to remember how life was in the 1960s. Many of Mad Men's directors and department heads are also women.
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