Aired: AMC, 2007-Present
Matt Weiner wrote the Mad Men pilot nearly a decade before it found a home as the first scripted drama at AMC, where the series debuted in the summer of 2007 and quickly took hold of the imagination with its evocation of Madison Avenue and the country as the turbulent 1960s dawn. Famously, David Chase hired Weiner as a writer on The Sopranos after reading the Mad Men pilot, and urged HBO to make it. "What I really had was a love of this period, a fascination with the '50s, a fascination with New York," Weiner told Written By in 2008. The show's cocktail culture and eruptive social era make it a period piece, but it's the multi-layered deceptions (characters deceive themselves and others, while working in an industry designed to con the public) that fuel Mad Men's allure.
Jane A. Anderson