TCA 2014: On not censoring his bloody show, creator Kurt Sutter said, “I sort of rely on [FX CEO] John Landgraf for that filter”
“Sons of Anarchy” is the highest-rated TV show in FX’s history, but leading into its seventh and final season, the motorcycle gang drama has never been nominated for an Outstanding Drama Emmy. That’s been a point of contention over the years with creator Kurt Sutter. Try as he might to avoid it, Sutter was somewhat sucked in to calling out the TV Academy once more on Monday.
But first, his colleagues weighed in on the subject when prompted by a journalist at the FX Television Critics Association panel. “If you don’t get into ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ you can’t get into it,” executive producer Paris Barclay offered. “I think the package of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ isn’t the package that appeals to most Emmy voters. They just don’t watch the show. I really don’t think they do.”
“Sons” star Charlie Hunnam took it a step further. “Lest we not forget: It doesn’t matter, like at all,” Hunnam said. “There’s this perception as though we’re kind of upset about this. I really don’t give a shit. I make this for the people who watch the show.”
Finally, Sutter joined in, sharing his internal reaction when he wasn’t nominated yet again: A simple, “Fuck them” towards the voting body. Sutter joked that he was so miffed at the perceived snub that he didn’t even realize his friend and co-worker Barclay was nominated for directing an episode of “Glee.”
When the beginning of the final ride of “Sons” revs up on Sept. 9, 10 days will have passed since Tara’s (Maggie Siff) death by fork at the hands of Gemma (Katey Sagal).
Sutter talked about that particularly gruesome murder and his dedication to continuing to push the boundaries all the way to the end. “I don’t have that filter, and I sort of rely on [FX CEO] John Landgraf for that filter,” he said, adding, “The reason why it was a fork is because it was there.”
In terms of the upcoming — but not yet written — series finale, Sutter admitted that it could still “all change,” though he’s had an idea and blueprint in mind for a while for how to conclude his baby. The showrunner said they’re “heading in that direction,” but the way they get there continues to change, plan as he might.
Sutter also spoke to this season’s buzzy additions to the cast, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson — two people he knows from the music scene. Sutter explained that he likes to hire from “outside the box,” as evidenced by the show’s previous inclusion of David Hasselhoff, among other unlikely choices.
Finally, Sutter discussed his show’s penchant for regularly breaking the 60-minute mark. When Sutter found that he couldn’t keep his stories within the hour timeslot, FX’s advertising department gave the OK to extend its run time. That more light-handed approach to editing has worked out both in ad sales and ratings, Sutter boasted.
It’s also lended itself to creating an environment of procrastination, though. “As a result, I don’t think I’ve turned an episode in on time in the last three and a half seasons,” Sutter admitted.
But creatively, he says, it’s much better: “On a script level, I can really write the episodes I want to write and on an editorial level, I’m only cutting the things that make it a better episode.”