‘The Abandons’: Kurt Sutter Western Gets Series Order at Netflix
The action drama will be a 10-episode season with Sutter serving as showrunner and executive producer under his SutterInk production banner. Netflix announced the project was in development in November 2021. The Abandons will be set in 1850s Oregon.
As the official logline teases, per Variety: “As a group of diverse, outlier families pursue their Manifest Destiny in 1850s Oregon, a corrupt force of wealth and power, coveting their land, tries to force them out. These abandoned souls, the kind of lost souls living on the fringe of society, unite their tribes to form a family and fight back. In this bloody process, ‘justice’ is stretched beyond the boundaries of the law. The Abandons will explore that fine line between survival and law, the consequences of violence, and the corrosive power of secrets, as this family fights to keep their land.”
Sutter told Deadline in November 2021 that he has wanted to make this Western since before Sons of Anarchy. The idea for The Abandons came from the origins of La Cosa Nostra and his rewatch of Bonanza during the pandemic.
“We are on the Western Frontier, somewhere between the Dakotas and California, small cattle town, circa 1850,” he described of the show. “So, it’s post-Gold Rush, pre-Civil War, and then, some natural resource is discovered. You have this wealthy family, where the Hearst-like character comes in, and the aristocrats in Italy, and they try to buy out the ranchers. Most sell out, and then the ones that sort of refused are kind of forced out or tragically go away. But there’s this one group of families that won’t sell. They band together. They stand up to the oppressor. Choices are made. Some of them violent, and then, like the peasants in Sicily, they take matters into their own hands and create their own destiny.”
FX fired Sutter from Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans M.C. in October 2019 due to complaints about his on-set behavior. He apologized to the cast and crew in a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter not long after his firing, saying he was “fired for being an abrasive dick.” He apologized for his treatment of those on set, saying “My arrogance and chronic distraction has created wreckage.”
Sutter was replaced by Elgin James, with whom he created the spinoff. Mayans M.C. was renewed for Season 5 in July 2022.