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Series creator and executive producer, Matthew Weiner, talks about his career in television, his critically beloved hit drama “Mad Men” and the highly anticipated sixth season.

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Matthew Weiner is the series creator and executive producer of the critically drama “Mad Men,” currently in its sixth season on AMC. One of television’s most honored series, “Mad Men” joined an elite group in 2011 when it became only the fourth drama to be awarded four consecutive Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. Additional honors for the series includes; three consecutive Golden Globe® Awards for Best Television Drama Series; a Peabody Award; three Producers Guild Awards; four Writers Guild Awards; two BAFTA Awards; the 2008 Royal Television Society Award for International Program; five Television Critics Association Awards, including Program of the Year, and being named five years running to AFI’s Top 10 Outstanding Television Programs. 

Since the series premiere in 2007, Weiner has been nominated for a total of 11 Emmy’s for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. He won the award for the series pilot, as well as for the second season episode, “Meditations in an Emergency” which he wrote with Kater Gordon, and for the third season episode, “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” which he wrote with Erin Levy. Most recently, Weiner won the WGA award for Best Episodic for the season five episode, “The Other Woman,” which he co-wrote with Semi Chellas. Additionally, he received Directors Guild nominations for his efforts behind the camera on “Meditations in an Emergency” in season two, and again for the season three finale, “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” In 2012 Weiner was awarded the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award which is given annually to television professionals who exhibit extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating television programming.

This past Spring, Weiner directed the film You Are Here, which he also wrote, starring Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler and Owen Wilson which is currently in post-production for a 2013 release. Prior to “Mad Men,” Weiner served as an executive producer and writer on “The Sopranos,” and joined with the producing team in 2004 and 2006 to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Weiner also garnered an Emmy nomination with Terence Winter for Outstanding Writing in the 2004 episode “Unidentified Black Males.” He earned another Emmy nomination in 2007 for writing the episode “Kennedy and Heidi” with David Chase, and won a 2007 Writers Guild Award for the series and three PGA Golden Laurel Awards for Television Producer of the Year in Episodic.

Before working on “The Sopranos,” Weiner wrote for various television series, including “The Naked Truth,” “Becker” and “Andy Richter Controls the Universe.” He also wrote and directed the independent feature, What Do You Do All Day?

Born in Los Angeles, Weiner studied Philosophy, Literature and History at Wesleyan University. He also earned his MFA from the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television. Weiner lives in Los Angeles with his wife, architect Linda Brettler, and their four sons.

“Betty Francis” - January Jones’ portrayal of the ‘perfect’ 60s wife and young mother has garnered the attention of critics and viewers alike and earned her two Golden Globe® nominations and an Emmy® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama. She also joined with the entire cast in winning two Screen Actors Guild® Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and four Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Drama Series.

Jones has an extensive film career in addition to her work on "Mad Men" and will soon star in Sweetwater opposite Ed Harris. She was most recently featured in Seeking Justice with Nicolas Cage and Guy Pearce, directed by Roger Donaldson, and as Emma Frost in the latest installment of the X-Men series, X-Men: First Class. She also appeared alongside Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger in Unknown, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kenneth Branagh in The Boat That Rocked, written and directed by Richard Curtis. Jones first came to critics’ attention for her performance in the film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada for actor/director Tommy Lee Jones, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and also starred in the critically-acclaimed festival hit Swedish Auto and in the McG-directed, We Are Marshall opposite Matthew Fox and Matthew McConaughey.

Additional film credits include roles in American Wedding; Anger Management alongside Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson; Love Actually with Colin Firth and Keira Knightley; Bandits with Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett for director/producer Barry Levinson; and Full Frontal directed by Steven Soderbergh.

A native of Sioux Falls, SD, Jones currently resides in Los Angeles.

“Megan Draper” - Well known in her native Canada for roles in the miniseries Random Passage and Napoléon, Jessica Paré made her Hollywood debut in Wicker Park a remake of the French film, L’Appartement in which she starred opposite Josh Hartnett, Rose Byrne and Diane Kruger.

Most recently, Paré wrapped production on the Irish romantic comedy Standby in which she stars opposite Brian Gleeson. In 2000, Paré was handpicked by director Denys Arcand to star as the lead in his film, Stardom. Additional film credits include roles in several independent features including Lost and Delirious opposite Piper Perabo and Mischa Barton and in the films Lives of the Saints, Bollywood/Hollywood, The Trotsky and SUCK. On television, Paré previously starred in Jack & Bobby alongside John Slattery and Logan Lerman. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Paré currently resides in Los Angeles.

Caryn James, a film and culture critic, is writer and owner of the “James on screenS” film and television blog for Indiewire and a contributor to The New York Times Book Review and other publications. Previously, she was film critic, chief television critic and critic at large for The New York Times. She is the author of the novels What Caroline Knew and Glorie.

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