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How Much Did Mad Men Pay For a Song by The Beatles?

By Gary Cutlack on at

The latest episode of period TV spectacle Mad Men was notable for something other than Christina Hendricks' silhouette for once, thanks to featuring Beatles track 'Tomorrow Never Knows' as part of its soundtrack. How much do you think that cost them?

Well, if reports of TV licensing fees are anything to go by, acquiring the rights to use an original recording of a track by the Beatles on US TV costs in the region of $250,000, which is much higher than the $100k it'd cost to reproduce a track by a less famous act.

Mad Men series creator and producer Matt Weiner thinks it was worth it, though, to add a moment of believability to the show and its setting, saying: "It was always my feeling that the show lacked a certain authenticity because we never could have an actual master recording of the Beatles performing ... not just someone singing their song or a version of their song, but them, doing a song in the show. It always felt to me like a flaw. Because they are the band, probably, of the 20th century."

Weiner didn't actually comment upon the numbers involved, with the figure coming via unnamed staff at the show's production company Lionsgate. [Arts Beat via Grantland]