TVLine has learned that Smits — who joined the FX smash last season as gangbanger-turned-“companionator” Nero — is not only returning in Season 6, but will appear in all 13 episodes.
In December, series creator Kurt Sutter told TVLine that he was anxious to further examine the relationship between Nero and Katey Sagal’s Gemma, but noted that Smits’ busy schedule could be an obstacle.
“I dig [them],” said the boss. “In the finale, when he’s all twisted up about being back in the life, that’s the thing that makes Gemma the most comfortable. She knows what to do with those kinds of men; she knows how to be strong for those kinds of men. So, what does that look like? It’s a culture clash that we haven’t explored yet. To plug her into that world, which is traditionally somewhat misogynistic, could be interesting to see played out a little bit and to see what that looks like. I’d love to keep that going.”
Despite being signed for all episodes produced in Season 6, Smits won’t technically be billed as a series regular.
SOA, which currently stands as FX’s highest-rated series ever, is slated to start production on Season 6 in early summer ahead of a fall 2013 launch.Follow @MichaelAusiello