Bryan Batt Bryan Batt

By now I've learned that getting the super secretive Mad Men cast to confirm anything is impossible. Even so, I'm feeling fairly confident that before long we'll be seeing Bryan Batt back in '60s-era NYC as artistic director Salvatore Romano on the Emmy-winning AMC drama. Why am I feeling so positive? Well, in the past, every time I'd run in to Bryan and ask for an update on his status, he'd tell me quite sullenly that he's heard nada from anyone. Basically, he was getting on with his life. But at the Emmy Awards, Bryan was back with his cast and just seemed tickled — as if he knew something we didn't.

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"A few months ago I got a call from the god of Mad Men [series creator Matthew Weiner]," Bryan told me. So what did Weiner say? "He told me Sal is not dead." That's all Bryan would say on the subject (which makes it sound as if the much-missed actor has been brought back under the cone of silence).It's the most encouraging news we've heard since I broke news last year that Bryan had been dropped from the cast for storyline reasons. (His gay character had antagonized the firm's top client, Lucky Strike, which demanded his dismissal.) Also a good sign that the old team is being reassembled: the August 29 episode saw Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) rehired by the firm. The

Mad Men cast is currently shooting its top-secret season finale. Asked if that's the show when we'll first see Sal back, Bryan just smiled and said, "We'll see.""We've missed Bryan so much," Christina Hendricks (Joan) admitted to me. "I love him like crazy crazy. Sal is just so charming. He brought such style to the show."Asked to chime in, here's what big boss Weiner had to say on the subject: "Yes, Sal is alive," confirmed stone-faced Weiner. "There's hope, but you have to watch the show. You know I'm not going to say anything."So where has Sal been cavorting this whole time? Bryan joked, "I can assure you he has not been in Central Park."Good to know. 

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