Mad Men scored big in last night’s ratings race, gaining its biggest season-finale number and finishing its fifth season as the most-watched ever. But it also scored big at the TV Academy on Sunday night, when 150 members and their guests had to be turned away for an event that featured the screening of the final episode and a Q&A with creator Matt Weiner and cast members. At least those 150 who didn’t get in didn’t go away empty-handed: Organizers gave them a jar of “Mad Men Olives” (the kind that go so well with those three-martini lunches) that was the parting gift for members of the audience. One woman, apparently confusing the Academy with Whole Foods Market, said she didn’t like olives and was wondering if she could exchange them for pickles.
Weiner, who flew in for the day from the North Carolina location of his feature directorial debut You Are Here and flew back right after the reception, had not wanted to screen the Season 5 finale in advance of its airing Sunday night but agreed it could be shown at this AMC-produced special event for Emmy voters (but not officially sanctioned by the Academy) two hours before airing on the East Coast. It was followed by the Q&A that also featured cast members Christina Hendricks, January Jones, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, Jessica Pare, and Kiernan Shipka. Series star Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss and Jared Harris were advertised but all were said to be stuck overseas filming and didn’t make it. (more…)