roger sterling mad menMad Men creator Matthew Weiner really does love to keep everything about his series top secret as long as he can -- even the premiere date! Remember how last year, after a painfully long hiatus, we only had a rough, hazy idea of when the show would air again, and then AMC just sort of sprung promos for season 5 on us what seemed like a couple of months before? So far, the lead-up to season 6 has felt similar with the unofficial buzz being that our favorite swingin' '60s cast will be back on the air "sometime in spring 2013." Well, brace yourselves, fellow fans, because the Mad Men season 6 premiere may actually be here sooner than you think. At least if John Slattery's recent interview with TIME offers us a concrete clue.

When the silver fox who plays Roger Sterling answered a Q about being back to work on the Mad Men set, he spilled a bit more juicy detail about the premiere than the show's secretive creator and network has ...

In the early December interview, Slattery said:

I am, presently [working on Mad Men]. We’re right in the thick of it. Everything is great. We just started about a month ago, right back in the groove again. It’ll be about the same time as last year [for the Season 6 premiere].

Whoohoo! So let's piece this together -- as we would a Mad Men plotline -- shall we? Back in mid-January 2012, AMC announced the March 25 premiere date for season 5. So, if what Slattery is saying is true, we may only have a couple more weeks of nail-biting until we get similar word on season six?! One can hope!

More from The Stir: 'Mad Men' Season 6 Teasers: Big Changes Are Coming for Don, Betty & Peggy

In the meantime, Slattery also reassured fans that he -- and it sounds like his peers -- are back in the groove, and the magic we've become addicted to is totally still there in season 6 ...

I always end up working the first day [of filming], it seems like, when it sounds like your voice is coming out of your ear and you’re like, “How do I do this? How do I drink and smoke at the same time?” This year, for some reason, I didn’t have that feeling. It was somehow easier. The scripts are great, that I’ve read. He’s still got it. Matt Weiner still has it.

Of course he has to mention that he can only comment on the ones he's read, because Weiner acts super-stealthy about his plotlines, even keeping the actors out of the loop until the last minute! Still, I'd say Slattery's observations are seriously promising news for Mad Men fans. We've got a lot to look forward to come 1967-68.

What are your predictions for Mad Men season 6?

 

Image via AMC