The cast and crew of the FX drama "Sons of Anarchy" gathered in Hollywood Saturday night for their seventh, and final, season premiere.
Saying goodbye to the series clearly hasn't been easy for Katey Sagal, who walked the red carpet with her husband, series creator Kurt Sutter.
"I feel enormously grateful for having been here, and I also feel in denial that it's ending," the actress said. "You know, I was weeping a little bit last night about it."
Then why end the hit show, which centers on a family comprised of members of an outlaw motorcycle club, who are in a Shakespearean-like battle for power?
Explained Sutter, "Quite honestly, after seven seasons, because of all the factors, it becomes very expensive to produce."
Four years ago, Sutter transformed that economic reality into artistic inspiration, creating a sprawling mythology that would conclude at the end of a seventh season -- gambling that the series would last that long.
This week's premiere, airing Sept. 9, finds the club leader, Jax (Charlie Hunnam), enlisting his brothers to avenge the murder of his wife Tara. What Jax has yet to learn is that the murderer is own mother, Jenna (Sagal), who, thinking she was protecting Jax, repeatedly stabbed Tara in the head with a carving fork.
As usual, Sutter has revealed few plot specifics. However, producers have confirmed that final-season guest stars will include Lea Michele ("Glee") and musician-actress Courtney Love, both of whom attended the premiere.
"I play a kindergarten teacher," Love said, then poked fun of her own bad-girl persona, "because when you think of me, I know, you think, immediately, 'kindergarten teacher.'"
Last year's episodes of "Anarchy" attracted an average of 10 million viewers, making it the most popular series on FX. Hunnam shared a story about a recent encounter with two of those viewers while he was waiting for a bike part in what he called a "sketchy' Los Angeles neighborhood.
"These two dudes came walking toward me, and they were serious dudes," Hunnam recalled. "And I thought, 'What is this going to be about?' And, no smile, nothing, they just said, 'Hey, bro. Thank you, man.' And I said, 'Thank you for what?' And they said, 'You make the 'hood safe on Tuesday nights."