Ellen Gray: 'Divorce: Circa 1960s' is included with 'Mad Men: Season 4' DVD

"Divorce: Circa 1960s" may be appropriate for "Mad Men's" Season 4 DVD, since it's the first season that Betty (January Jones) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) aren't married to each other.
"Divorce: Circa 1960s" may be appropriate for "Mad Men's" Season 4 DVD, since it's the first season that Betty (January Jones) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) aren't married to each other.
Posted: March 29, 2011

SO MUCH television, so little time:

* Do you buy TV shows on DVD for the episodes or the extras?

Lionsgate seems to think "Mad Men" fans want to understand a lot more of the history behind the 1960s-set melodrama.

And when I say a lot more, I'm talking a three-part documentary about "Divorce: Circa 1960s" that's included, along with the usual commentaries, in today's DVD/Blu-ray release of "Mad Men: Season 4."

A mix of professorial talking heads and clips from the series - along with some old movies - it's a mostly scholarly affair, one that reminds us that there was a time as recently as 1960 when just 16 percent of U.S. first marriages ended in divorce, if only because divorces were so hard to come by.

Season 4 being the first in which Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Betty (January Jones) were no longer married to each other, I guess it's a pertinent subject, even if I couldn't make it past Part 2.

Not without course credit, anyway.

But with reports continuing that the drawn-out contract talks between "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner and Lionsgate will likely delay the show's return to AMC for Season 5 until sometime next year, it's possible die-hard fans may be desperate enough by summer to make it all the way to the end.

* Speaking of divorce, when it comes to splitting up, the rich really are different: They have more money to fight over.

And they attract the attention of CNBC.

The business-oriented cable channel, which appears to love "Wars" of all sorts, tonight presents "Divorce Wars" (9 p.m., CNBC), a far less academically inclined documentary about the super-rich and their super problems.

Weighed down with the usual blurry re-creations and annoying music, it might be aimed at people with enough money to worry about things like prenups, but is more likely to make those of us with less thankful that we're at least not loved - or hated - for our stock portfolios.

* Thirty years after U.S. TV went bonkers over the supposedly fairy-tale wedding of Britain's Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, it's getting ready to do the same for the marriage of that ill-fated couple's eldest son.

Turns out there's even an app for that.

In announcing its wedding plans yesterday, NBC noted that in addition to coverage by NBC News, MSNBC and its assorted cable siblings (including the Weather Channel), it's offering an iPad app, "The Royal Wedding by NBC News."

Included in the iTunes freebie: an "interactive family tree," ideas for hosting a wedding viewing party and, of course, "opportunities to purchase exclusive royal wedding products from the NBC Universal store."

Because nothing says "royal wedding" like a "Catherine Middleton-Inspired Faux Sapphire Engagement Ring" for $80.

* Did someone say cheese?

Tonight's "Inside Edition" (6:30 p.m., Fox29) brings its Rat Patrol to Philadelphia, where it claims to have found "rodents running around some of Philadelphia's most popular eateries."

What next? Pretzel vendors who don't wash their hands?

* With last week's announcements that Fox had renewed "Fringe" for a fourth season - "in both universes" - and that the fine but little-watched boxing drama "Lights Out" (10 tonight, FX) wouldn't be going past next week's Season 1 finale, I'm currently focusing good thoughts on Fox's "The Chicago Code" (10 p.m. Mondays), the Windy City-based cop drama from Shawn Ryan ("The Shield," "The Unit"), which remains on the bubble.

* Other recent renewals: CBS's "The Amazing Race" and "Undercover Boss," both back for 2011-12, Comedy Central's "Futurama," which got two more seasons, at 13 episodes apiece.

* The season-ender of "Shameless" Sunday delivered Showtime's highest ratings for a freshman show's season finale in 10 years, the premium cable network reported yesterday.

The numbers? Just a little above 1 million for the 10 p.m. showing, 1.5 million for the night (includes repeats). The previous record - 1.49 million - was held by "Queer as Folk."

With On Demand and repeats included, "Shameless," which has already been renewed, averaged 3.7 million weekly viewers this season, making it Showtime's No. 3 show, behind "Dexter" and "Weeds." *

Send email to graye@phillynews.com.

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