The outspoken creator and showrunner of FX‘s highest-rated program ever was his usual candid self at an ATAS event tonight. Kurt Sutter was asked during “An Evening With Sons Of Anarchy” if he plans to take the biker drama past its previously announced seventh season next year. During a long reply in which he basically said he wouldn’t, Sutter actually said he might — or at least could. “There’s so many factors that determine whether a show continues or not,” he began. “I came up with the initial awareness that if this show was being done in sort of the same production model that The Shield was in – and I knew that The Shield had about seven seasons. And I knew that at that point the show ultimately begins to eat itself and becomes more expensive to make. So I thought if we could get a full run I could tell the story I wanted to tell in seven seasons. And I knew by the end of this season I’d have a sense of whether or not I’d be able to do that, and I still think I can.
“But look,” Sutter continued, “I think if I got halfway through this season or at some point next season I felt like I couldn’t finish it, I’d probably be able to have a conversation with the network. … (But) I think after seven seasons I don’t know if we can maintain the rhythm and the pace that we’ve done, and I wouldn’t want to extend it and have it become something that it’s not. So my plan is still to finish it out in seven.”
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Jimmy Smits is set to return to FX‘s flagship drama Sons Of Anarchy, reprising his role as Neron “Nero” Padilla, a former gangbanger whose exit strategy is trumped by his partnership with Jax (Charlie Hunnam). Smits appeared in 12 of the 13 episodes from Anarchy‘s fifth season. He has now signed on to do all episodes from Season 6, which is shaping to be even more intense and volatile. Production begins in late spring for a September premiere. Emmy winner Smits, repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment and Tom Hoberman, is coming off a successful run in Motherf**ker With The Hat at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. On Anarchy, produced by Fox 21 and FX Prods, he is joined by Donal Logue, who also is coming back after making his debut on the show last season. Sons of Anarchy is the highest-rated series ever on FX, and its recent fifth season ranks as the series’ highest-rated yet with first-run episodes averaging 6.37 million total viewers and 4.35 million adults 18-49, a +16% increase in both categories vs. Season 4.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Ahead of its fifth season launch in September, FX‘s biker drama Sons of Anarchy — the network’s highest-rated show ever — trotted out new cast regulars Jimmy Smits and Harold Perrineau to critics during a noontime at TCA. In the case of Smits, it’s hardly his first opportunity to “jump onboard a moving train,” as he called it today. He’ll be playing the role of Nero Padilla, whom creator and showrunner Kurt Sutter described as “an outlaw but from a different environment, more of an older brother or mentor figure.” He said that in Smits’ case, the show got its first choice to play the character. As for Smits, he said “I’m just happy I don’t have to wear a suit” after so many years wearing one on L.A. Law and NYPD Blue. “I’ve been a huge fan (of SOA). It’s been great watching the last couple of seasons as the ensemble got tighter and tighter and jelled. As for me, I’m glad to mix it up and do something a little bit different.” Perrineau is playing the part of vengeance-minded Damon Pope, a character whose daughter was killed last year. When he got the role Perrineau said he worried about whether he could pull it off. “But ultimately I have … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Bobby Simone is moving to the wrong side of the law. NYPD Blue alum Jimmy Smits is joining the upcoming fifth season of FX’s flagship drama Sons Of Anarchy for a major, season-long arc. On the dark biker soap, Smits will play Neron “Nero” Padilla, a Latino gangbanger with an exit strategy who becomes a dangerous mentor for Jax (Charlie Hunnam).
Smits has played bad guys before, most notably the scheming ADA Miguel Prado in another season-long arc on a gritty cable drama, Showtime’s Dexter, but this marks a rare departure from Smits’ trademark shirt-and-suit look associated with most of his characters. Nero is envisioned as being heavily tattooed and definitely won’t be wearing a suit. He also is expected to be as dark and possibly even darker than Prado, a role that earned Smits an Emmy nomination. In addition to NYPD Blue and Dexter, Smits’ series credits also include LA Law, for which he won an Emmy, The West Wing and Outlaw. He is with Brillstein Entertainment, UTA and attorney Tom Hoberman. SOA has been renewed for a fifth and sixth season, with a seventh cycle considered a given after series creator Kurt Sutter was recently signed to a three-year deal.
Jimmy Smits has been tapped as the last major lead in NBC’s untitled Stephen Gaghan drama pilot (formerly S.I.L.A.), a complex ensemble drama in the style of Traffic and Syriana set in the world of crime, law enforcement and politics in sprawling modern-day Los Angeles. The pilot, from 20th TV, Chernin Entertainment and Gaghan’s Unsupervised, centers on Los Angeles Mayor Alfonso Morales (Smits) and his Special Investigations Unit led by detective Terry Mullins (Noah Emmerich), who has returned to LA to re-connect with his 15-year-old daughter Jennifer (Emma Dumont) and try to get along with his ex-wife, high-powered attorney Mary McCarthy (Madchen Amick). Morales is described as a man full of ambition who cares deeply about his city, power and women, perhaps in reverse order.
Smits was the first actor approached by Gaghan for the pilot. The NYPD Blue alum had originally planned to sit this pilot season out but was drawn to the opportunity to work with an A-list filmmaker like Gaghan on a character drama, a genre rarely seen on broadcast TV these days. Also appealing to Smits was the chance to reunite with new NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt, who ran Showtime when Smits did a season-long arc on Dexter, a stint that earned him an Emmy nomination. The pilot brings Smits back to NBC where he hit stardom with his Emmy-winning role on L.A. Law. The actor, repped by Brillstein Entertainment, attorney Tom Hoberman and UTA, also co-starred … Read More »
NBC is stopping production on new legal drama Outlaw while keeping the show on the air. Starting tomorrow, the freshman series will go on production hiatus while the network monitors closely its ratings performance. Eight episodes of Outlaw have been produced; 3 of them have already aired, with 5 more in the can. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I hear Melora Hardin is set to join NBC’s new drama series Outlaw in a key recurring role. She has also closed a deal to return to The Office for a multi-episode arc. Outlaw stars Jimmy Smits as Cyrus Garza, a U.S. Supreme Court justice who quits the bench and returns to private practice. Hardin will play Claire Sax, a powerful senior partner in an elite law firm and love interest to Garza. Hardin replaces Gina Gershon who played the role in the pilot.
On The Office, Hardin will reprise her character Jan Levinson, Michael Scott’s unstable ex-girlfriend. With Jan and another Michael former love, Holly (Amy Ryan), both returning to The Office, Michael might be tying up some loose ends in what will be Carell’s final season on the comedy series. Hardin, repped by the Paul Kohner Agency and Framework, recently released her first studio album and next stars in the upcoming WWE comedy feature Knucklehead.
It’s been a busy week for major recasting on newly picked up broadcast series as many of them are heading into production. In the past couple of days NBC and CBS set new leads on Harry’s Law (Nate Corddry), Friends with Benefits (Zach Cregger) and $#*! My Dad Says (Jonathan Sadowski).