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Creator Wants to Make ‘Sons of Anarchy’ “Look Like Sesame Street”

Kurt Sutter
Getty Images, Kevin Winter

Think the brutality of FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” is just a bunch of biker gang baloney made up by Hollywood? Well, the show’s creator, Kurt Sutter plans to show viewers just how real the outlaw lifestyle is with a new unscripted series for Discovery Channel, titled “Outlaw Empires.”

The series looks to shine a light on “a hidden America,” a world ruled by “blood and money,” as one outlaw reveals in the first promo. And Sutter, himself, explains that he “wants to get to know these guys as individuals.”

That approach may be what separates “Outlaw Empires” from all the other docu-series covering life outside the law, such as History’s “Gangland” and MSNBC’s “Locked Up.” What will also set the series apart from other unscripted criminal shows is its shift from the usual law enforcement perspective to that of its titular outlaws.

Sutter will not only executive produce but also appear in the series on occasion, which according to EW, will take a look a such famed criminal outfits as The Crips, the Irish mob, the Aryan Brotherhood and of course, biker gangs. The series will feature interviews with current and former members whose real-life revelations Sutter claims will make his “Sons of Anarchy” “look like ‘Sesame Street.’ He elaborated on the “stranger than fiction” aspect of the show in a statement to EW.

“As a storyteller, I listen to this stuff and think: ‘I couldn’t pitch this, nobody would believe it. For me, it was about getting inside the head of these people and understanding what drew them to this life. What’s important is to get at the humanity of it all.”

To that end, Sutter also made a point to say that “Outlaw Empires” isn’t an attempt to glamorize the criminal underworld but rather look at it from the other side.

“It’s not so much about justifying bad behavior, but to hear it from the inside out instead of from a distant law enforcement social judgement call.”

Discovery Channel has ordered six episodes of the series, which premieres May 14th at 10PM. Check out the first trailer for “Outlaw Empires” below and see how Sutter’s “SOA” baddies measure up to the real thing.

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