Even though FX renewed Sons of Anarchy for season 5 in October 2011, they had yet to officially sign series creator Kurt Sutter for the upcoming season. Fortunately, not only has FX signed Sutter for a fifth season, but they also have him locked in for season 6 and 7 - if the network chooses to continue the series.
Announcing his new deal for Sons of Anarchy on Twitter, Sutter made sure to include a quip about how much easier it is to deal with FX than AMC: "closed my deal for 3 more years on SOA. no headlines, no pushed schedule, no stealing from paul. thank you FX and 20th for your generosity."
Sutter's remarks about "no headlines, no pushed schedule, no stealing…" refers to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner's complicated negotiations with AMC – negotiations that reportedly put the future of Breaking Bad in question, as well as led to budget cuts for The Walking Dead. It's been reported that one of the main reasons why Frank Darabont was fired from The Walking Dead was because he was continuously fighting with the network over their reduced budget for season 2.
Continuing, Sutter made sure to clarify that his previous Tweet was in regards to himself, not Sons of Anarchy the series. Additionally, Sutter also hinted at the possibility of the series continuing beyond season 7:
the 3 year deal is for season 5, and then if we get picked up, for 6 &7. if there is more story to tell beyond that, then we’ll decide then.
While Sons of Anarchy season 7 would see the series through 2014 – and perhaps beyond – the real piece of information to take from Sutter's tweet is the fact that he'll have to decide whether or not he has more stories to tell at that time.
What this means – beyond allowing Sutter to possibly continue the series - is that Sutter currently has a general story-arc for Sons of Anarchy seasons 6 and 7 already planned – on top of the upcoming season 5, which is set to air September 2012.
Continuously referencing (as well as mirroring) elements from William Shakespeare's famed tragedy "Hamlet", Sons of Anarchy has always focused on Jax's (Charlie Hunnam) relationship with his stepfather Clay (Ron Pearlman) - but it wasn't until the Sons of Anarchy season 4 finale that their relationship reached its tipping point.
After Jax ousted Clay as the head of the SAMCRO, all eyes are on Sons of Anarchy season 5 as the battle between step-father and step-son begins to take shape. And what, if anything, does Gemma (Katey Sagal) have to do with it?
With Sutter having enough stories to tell to fill seasons 6 and 7, audiences won't have to worry about the sometimes hit-or-miss execution of series such a Dexter – which largely doesn't have subsequent seasons planned in advanced.
Barring any surprise appearances of Julia Stiles in Charming, fans of the series should be thoroughly excited to see what Sutter has planned for television's favorite motorcycle club.
Sons of Anarchy season 5 will premiere September 2012
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio