Mad Men is seen by many as one of the greatest shows ever created, but it could have looked a little different had it not been for the advice Matthew Weiner received from another creator, David Chase.
Chase created The Sopranos, a show Weiner was a writer and executive producer on.
In fact, it was the original Mad Men pilot Weiner wrote that caught the attention of Chase and had him bring Weiner on The Sopranos.
While appearing on Popcorn Talk Network’s I Blame Dennis Hopper, hosted by Illeana Douglas, Weiner shared that when it came time for him to shoot the pilot of Mad Men, he sought out Chase for some advice.
“He was so great about it. He said, you’re gonna hear it,” said Weiner. “‘They’re gonna read it and you’re gonna hate it, but don’t change it, it’s good.’ When the right person reads it, like, find the person don’t change the script. And the last thing he said was, ‘it’s good.'”
For Weiner, that was all he needed to hear.
“Literally the nicest thing he’d said to me and I’d been working there for like three years. He was very reserved,” said Weiner, adding “we’re friends now.”
Weiner followed Chase’s advice and kept the script the same. The result: seven seasons of television gold.
That wasn’t the last helpful thing Chase said to Weiner. He also gave advice when Mad Men was filming.
“I remember when I was going into the show and I was like, I don’t know what I’m gonna do and I don’t know how to do the show,” reflected Weiner, “and he goes, ‘well, you’re great at story.’ And I was like, ‘you never used anything that I pitched to you.’ And he goes, ‘no, but you’re great at it.’
Turns out, Chase was right.