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‘Mad Men’ Creator: Coke Ad Finale Planned From Beginning

“The idea that he would end up at an ashram…was with me from when I pitched AMC the first season,” Matthew Weiner says

H. Richard Greene, Jon Hamm and Paul Johansson

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner has provided more insight into the series finale, saying that concluding with the Coke ad was the goal since day one

Justina Mintz/AMC

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner has provided more insight into the series’ oblique ending while admitting that the finale‘s final moments – Don Draper meditating followed by the famed “Buy the World a Coke” ad – was planned from the onset. “The idea that he would end up at an ashram, or something like that, was with me from when I pitched AMC the first season,” Weiner told The Hollywood Reporter.

“It was a two-step process: They liked the pilot, but they wanted to know what the rest of the show was,” Weiner said. “This was back before everybody was demanded to write their entire show before they sold it. They didn’t want a Bible, but they wanted to know what it would be about every week. I gave them an endgame if we got to do the whole decade. That was the image. I always imagined it would be him on a bluff somewhere, sitting in the lotus position with a smile on his face.”

After Mad Men‘s fourth season, Weiner put his end game into motion by setting the stage to end on what he previously called “the best ad ever made.” “The story somersault that happened in the last 39 episodes to have Don working at McCann Erickson, that was something we were working for the whole time,” Weiner said.

The 67th Primetime Emmys will air September 20th, and this year’s ceremony marks Jon Hamm’s final opportunity to win an Outstanding Lead Actor trophy for his portrayal of Don Draper. Hamm has been nominated for the role seven times but watched as actors like Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston or The Newsroom‘s Jeff Daniels took home the Emmy; Hamm’s Emmy shutout landed him on Rolling Stone‘s Most Shafted List.

“I know it’s [Hamm’s] last chance for Mad Men, but I’m always rooting for him as much as I am right now,” Weiner said of his star. “There is no show without him. He created this character that’s indelible. He physically inhabits that character in a way…that even without dialogue, he’s doing a very subtle and impressive performance all of the time.”


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