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OTRC: Jon Hamm to direct season 5 'Mad Men' premiere

Jon Hamm appears in a scene from 'Mad Men.' (AMC)

Jon Hamm, who stars in AMC's "Mad Men" as Don Draper, has signed on to direct the drama's fifth season premiere.

"The wheels have officially been set in motion to make that happen," Hamm told TVLine. "It's a very exciting challenge that I'm looking forward to with a mixture of utter fear and excitement."

"Mad Men" stars Hamm as suave ad firm partner Don Draper and also features January Jones as his ex-wife, Elisabeth Moss as executive Peggy Olson and Christina Hendricks as voluptuous office manager Joan Harris.

Hamm's "Mad Man" co-star John Slattery, who stars as Roger Sterling, has also directed an episode of the hit show.

"I watched Slattery do it, and he handled it with such grace and ability and ease," Hamm said. "I figured if he can do it, (expletive), I can do it too."

Production on the show's fifth season is slated to begin in August and Hamm plans to "start prepping" a little earlier for his directorial debut.

"It helps to have people you know and trust surrounding you," Hamm said of the challenge. "We've been fortunate enough to have very little turnover not only in our cast but in our crew."

The fourth season finale of the 1960s-era drama series aired in October 2010. The fifth season will premiere in March 2012.

The show was renewed for two more seasons, but creator Matthew Weiner announced in April that the show's seventh season might be the final one.

He was quoted by the Hollywood Reporter as saying that "seven seasons seems like the right length for the life of the show and I'm very excited knowing that I have that canvas to paint on."

It was reported in March that the fifth season would be postponed to early 2012 due to "ongoing, key non-cast negotiations."

Hamm is currently shooting the film "Friends With Kids" with Megan Fox, which is directed by his wife Jennifer Westfeldt, who wrote and starred in "Kissing Jessica Stein."

He recently appeared in the fantasy-action movie "Sucker Punch" and the comedy "Bridesmaids." Last year, he starred in Ben Affleck's Oscar-nominated movie "The Town."

Meanwhile, many "Mad Men" cast members have been busy with other projects.

Jones stars in the upcoming movie, "X-Men: First Class" and Moss is shooting "On The Road" with "Twilight" actress Kristen Stewart.

Jones announced in April that she is expecting her first child but has yet to reveal the father. Meanwhile, Moss finalized her divorce from "Saturday Night Live" cast member Fred Armisen.

Hendricks recently filmed the movies "Drive" with Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling and "Detachment" with Adrien Brody, who was once linked to Jones, although the two have not confirmed a relationship.

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