Some notes and quotes from AMC's session -- including the state of contract negotiations with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner, the premiere date of "Breaking Bad" and some observations on "The Prisoner" remake -- coming up after the jump...
• AMC president Charlie Collier announced that "Mad Men" would be back sometime in the summer, though he avoided giving a specific date. That may be because Weiner still doesn't have a contract with the Lionsgate studio to stay at the helm of the reigning Emmy winner for best drama.
"Lionsgate continues negotiations with Matt, so I won't go deep into discussion of that," Collier said, "but we remain optimistic that Matt will still be with the show. Third quarter (of 2009) was always the plan, we're still on schedule."
He added that they still have "a couple of months" to close the deal with Weiner in order to make the targeted premiere window.
• "Breaking Bad," AMC's other reigning Emmy winner (for star Bryan Cranston), will be back on March 8. The show's first season only ran 7 episodes due to the writers strike, which creator Vince Gilligan said was a blessing in disguise.
“If we did our last two episodes of season one and the strike hadn’t interrupted us, I wanted to have a big season ender, which would have been too much story too soon,” Gilligan said. "I took a breath and realized I wanted to slow things down a bit. The strike saved us from doing too much too soon.”
And he promised "a slam bang ending" for season two, instead.
• AMC's miniseries remake of "The Prisoner," starring Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen, won't premiere until November. The clips we saw in the room (filmed on location in a very real and very odd-looking African town that needed very little set decoration) looked very promising -- though, admittedly, I say that as someone who never saw the original '60s series with Patrick McGoohan. I can finally rectify that mistake, though, now that AMC is streaming all 17 episodes on their website.
McKellen, re-appearing at the tour a day after the whole "Gandalf may be gay" thing, had himself a fine old time on stage, at one point switching into character as the malevolent, controlling Number Two in an attempt to cow a critic whose question displeased (or, more likely, confused) him. I'd post the full quote, but the words on a screen don't remotely convey the cheerful menace in his voice as he said them.