The hardest part about "Mad Men" for Matthew Weiner is also probably the hardest part for viewers: saying goodbye to characters.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Weiner revealed how difficult he finds getting rid of characters like Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) and Sal Romano (Bryan Bratt). It's necessary to raise the stakes, but Weiner isn't a fan of doing it.
"It's a commitment to your audience," he said. "But it's hard to do. And when the time comes, I have to be dragged kicking and screaming."
Season 5 saw Lane Pryce hang himself and while it was tough, Weiner said it gave the show a chance to "focus on a supporting character we wouldn't have otherwise." Sal Romano was fired from Sterling Cooper at the end of Season 3 after rejecting the advances of a married male client. Weiner said he's had more conversations about Sal Romano than any other character. "I wanted to tell the story of how incredibly unfair it was for Sal, and that's the sacrifice I made," he said. "It's a gigantic moment in the series."
Weiner's comments are similar to that of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly" mastermind Joss Whedon. During a Reddit question and answer, Whedon -- who is known for killing off fan-favorite characters -- revealed which was the hardest for him.
"I actually find it refreshing... delightful.... vaguely arousing.... Actually, I'm, no offense, very tired of being labelled as 'the guy who kills people'. Shakespeare (he's this hot new writer) does it way more than me, and everyone's all excited about how he, as it were, holds a mirror up to nature, while I'm like the Jason Voorhees of the writing community. Unfair.
Also, probably Buffy's Mom," Whedon wrote.
"Mad Men" Season 6 premieres with a two-hour episode on Sunday, April 7 at 9 p.m. ET before moving to its regular timeslot of 10 p.m. ET on AMC on April 14.