Does ‘Mad Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner Think ‘Pan Am’ and ‘The Playboy Club’ Are Ripping Him Off?

The Set

Short answer: No.

Here's a longer one: Josef Adalian of New York magazine's Vulture blog spoke with Matthew Weiner, creator of AMC's "Mad Men," at a pre-Emmy party on Friday and, with "The Playboy Club" and "Pan Am" about to début, asked Weiner the logical question of whether these new series, also set in the 1960s, were "Mad Men" copycats. And Weiner — because he is an adult and a professional, unlike some unhinged showrunners one might mention — offered a reasonable answer to the question.

"I don't own the period," Weiner told Adalian. "I see the whole experience as a vindication. The same people who are green-lighting these shows hated [the notion of a period drama] when I pitched it eleven years ago. It's a thrill that these same people now are seeing something commercial in it. I wish them the best."

Of course, this last fine sentiment is slightly undercut by the very next thing Weiner said: "We're not competing." I mean, that is literally true in the sense that both new series will air their entire first seasons — assuming they last that long — before "Mad Men" returns. But given that "Mad Men" has not lost the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy in the entire time it's existed, "Pan Am" and "The Playboy Club" probably aren't really in the same league.

One note about "The Playboy Club," which premieres tonight on NBC: One of the Bunnies at the titular Club is played by Naturi Naughton, who...also portrayed a Bunny last season on "Mad Men." Here's hoping that Brenda of "The Playboy Club," like Toni of "Mad Men," gets a stuffy British adman to fall in love with her, threaten to end his marriage, and get a clout on the head from his father's cane for his folly.