The protracted and contentious negotiations between AMC and Lionsgate (the network and studio that produce Mad Men) and Matthew Weiner (the Great Architect of its Womanizing Universe) have finally been resolved, bringing to an end a nail-biting waiting period to rival even that of Joan Holloway's own in a sterile OB/GYN reception room. And the news is good!

Weiner has signed on for two more seasons of the sublimely well-written and well-acted series, with a strong possibility of even a third. If my calculations are correct, that should bring a pot-bellied and balding Don Draper smack dab into the middle of the disco era, where he'll corner loose women young enough to be his granddaughter in the corners of loud nightclubs with suggestive invitations to join him at his bachelor pad "for some happy dust chased with Kir Royales and a long, slow Hustle. Waddaya say? I got a cab waiting outside."

Can't hardly wait! Unfortunately, though, we're going to have to. AMC said last week that new episodes wouldn't air before March 2012.

Weiner's statement:

I want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support. I also want to thank AMC and Lionsgate for agreeing to support the artistic freedom of myself, the cast and the crew so that we can continue to make the show exactly as we have from the beginning. I'm excited to get started on the next chapter of our story.

[Photo via Getty]