One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media's William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television's creative community. This evening honors "Mad Men," a drama series about the goings-on at a New York City advertising agency in the 1960s, centering on high-level executive Don Draper. Matt Roush, senior TV Guide critic, moderates.

Barbara Dixon, director of The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, opens the evening by discussing the significance of the Paley Festival on the closing night of its twenty-fifth anniversary presentations. Then, Roush discusses the critical accolades the show has received. Next, the show's creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner takes the stage to introduce a twenty-five minute package of season one highlights. Clips include: Peggy's first day at the office as Joan shows her the ropes; Don discussing the important of "happiness" in advertising; a drunken Pete making a pass at Peggy; Don having a confrontation at the agency with Rachel; Betty failing to manage the children at home; Don continuing his affair with Midge; Don addressing the concept of love with Rachel; Don discussing psychiatry with Roger; Don beginning an affair with Rachel; Pete going behind Don's back to pitch an idea, causing Don to try to fire him; Don's past coming back to haunt him via Adam; Roger being enticed by Joan; Betty bonding with young Glen; Peggy and Pete kissing at the office; Don chastising a party of Midge's hippie friends; Sterling Cooper employees partying during the Nixon-Kennedy election coverage; Betty violently clashing with Helen over Glen; Salvatore flirting with Lois; Don promoting Peggy to junior copywriter; Pete and Ken getting in a scrape over Peggy; Sal being made uncomfortable by a gay come-on; Roger telling Betty that she's been "making eyes" at him; Pete refusing Peggy's advances on the dance floor; Roger having a heart attack, then tearfully dealing with his wife; Bert giving some advice to Joan about Roger; Don hearing the news of Adam's suicide; Pete making a power play against Don, and dealing with its consequences; Don questioning his future to Rachel; Betty telling her psychiatrist of Don's infidelities; Peggy discovering that she's pregnant; Betty breaking down in front of Glen; Don using his family's photos to make a nostalgia-evoking sales pitch; and Don returning home to a very empty house.

Afterward, Roush introduces the panelists: cast members Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, Christina Hendricks, Vincent Kartheiser, Robert Morse, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, Jon Hamm, and Weiner. The panelists discuss their memories of winning the Golden Globe for best drama series. Hamm details winning the Golden Globe for best actor. The panelists also discuss: how the show immediately became a critic's darling; why the show is so popular with audiences; Sterling Cooper being on "the wrong side of a lot of things"; characters on the show having "a hole" in their lives; how the show ended up on AMC as opposed to HBO; how the show's modest costumes enhance the show's sexiness; how a show so grounded in reality could have Peggy not realizing she was pregnant until she gave birth; the "big picture" of Peggy's story arc; what is to be expected in season two; using events of the 1960s to advance the plot; whether the backstory of Don is complete; the "fun" element of the show's political incorrectness; whether Don is a tragic figure and can ever find the perfect woman; what Peggy is ultimately seeking; the actors embodying their characters; Slattery's reaction to having real-life wife Talia Balsam portraying Roger's spouse; the storyline of Peggy's pregnancy not being made known to other cast members, though Moss kept appearing larger on set; how Morse's work on the show compared to his having headlined "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" on Broadway in the '60s; the crafting of Bert's character; whether Pete is a "villain" and Don's adversary; Joan as the "queen bee" of the office and her dynamic with Peggy; how Harry fits into the pecking order at the office and how his character has changed; how supporting characters like Ken became such a presence in the plot; and the role of Ayn Rand's philosophy on the show. Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics: how Weiner came up with the show's idea and its title; why January Jones isn't on the panel; how Weiner gets the 1960s look of the show correct; a possible connection between "Mad Men" and "The Twilight Zone"; how the characters written in the pilot script differed from what appeared on screen; and the origin and evolution of the show's opening credits.

This selection from the Alan Gerry Cable Collection has been made available by the Gerry Foundation, Inc.


  • DATE: March 27, 2008 Thursday 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:47:45
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:92185
  • GENRE: Seminars


    • Barbara Dixon … Host
    • Matt Roush … Moderator
    • Matthew Weiner … Panelist
    • Aaron Staton … Panelist
    • Rich Sommer … Panelist
    • Christina Hendricks … Panelist
    • Vincent Kartheiser … Panelist
    • Robert Morse … Panelist
    • John Slattery … Panelist
    • Elisabeth Moss … Panelist
    • Jon Hamm … Panelist
    • Talia Balsam
    • January Jones
    • John F. Kennedy
    • Richard M. Nixon
    • Ayn Rand