'Sons of Anarchy' Creator Kurt Sutter Reveals Origin Behind Fictional Town Name Charming

Kurt Sutter has answered another lingering question about Sons of Anarchy. On Tuesday, the creator behind FX's beloved biker drama addressed how he came up with the name of Charming, California, the town where the show takes place. He was also asked if he wanted it to have a "Mayberry feel," which he confirmed was the case.

"There was a town in northern [California] called Pleasanton. That was the inspiration for the name," Sutter wrote. "And yes, it was about Mayberry. I loved the idea of juxtaposing the outlaw subculture against the iconic American values. That's why I chose Opie, Floyd the barber... and at least three more Mayberry references in the series." He ended with a little challenge to die-hard fans, asking "Can you name them?"

Mayberry was the fictional town where The Andy Griffith Show was set. The sitcom, which aired from 1960 through 1968, was meant to take place in an idyllic, quintessentially timeless small town. Which, of course, made for the perfect setting for Sons of Anarchy. As far as the references, Opie was played Ryan Hurst and was a principal character on the series until Sutter had to come to terms with the fact he had to kill off his character. Floyd was the town barber for Charming, played by James Caraway, who appeared in a half-dozen episodes between the first and fourth seasons.

The real city of Pleasanton is now considered a suburb of San Francisco and boasts a population of 70,000. It ranked fourth in USA Today's list of America's 50 best cities to live in back in 2014.

While Sutter has been addressing all sorts of Sons of Anarchy questions, revealing the meaning of everything behind Piney's vest and the mysterious homeless woman, he's also spoken about some new projects he has in development. First was an anthology series that was "driven by music," although he admitted it was currently "in limbo" due to widespread coronavirus shutdowns.


He also said that he's going to start another web-based project. "As soon as Pandemic lifts, I'm going to do a new web series, Sutter Thinks. We were into pre-production talks before the shutdown. Hopefully, it will still make sense to do it."