There’s good news and bad news on the Mad Men front.

The good news is that it’s coming back to AMC for a fifth season. The bad news is that ongoing contract negotiations are going to push the debut to early 2012.

And those contract negotiations aren’t going so well. There’s a real possibility that series creator Matthew Weiner could walk.

AMC is demanding a shorter running time for each episode, budget cuts that would mean two main cast members per year would have to leave the show, and more prominent product placement.

Weiner is balking at those demands. He says the network is offering him more and more money to give in, but he’s offering to take less if AMC will back down on those demands.

So far, AMC hasn’t budged.