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This week's cover: 'Sons of Anarchy' takes its final ride

Sons of Anarchy fans still reeling from the Sept. 30 episode (read our recap) may want to take a beta blocker before reading this week’s cover story, which goes on the set and behind the scenes as the cast and the creator, Kurt Sutter, prepare for an epic ending.

The seventh and final season of FX’s highest-rated show finds Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) leading his motorcycle club, SAMCRO, on a mission to avenge the death of his wife Tara (Maggie Siff). What Jax doesn’t know is that his scheming mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal), is the real killer. In a preseason poll on EW.com, 81 percent of readers assumed that Gemma has to die for her crimes—and that was before her cover-up of Tara’s murder by carving fork ignited a street war with a devastating body count. “I kind of agree with them,” Sagal admits. “That seems like a correct assumption. I mean, it’s pretty heinous where she is now. Even though she didn’t mean it.”

Fans also assume Jax will eventually learn the truth. But what will he do? “Anyone else in the world, 100 percent guaranteed he’s gonna murder them in slow and brutal fashion, but it’s his mother, you know. It’s gonna be complicated,” says Hunnam. “I don’t envy Kurt in trying to figure out the right way to approach that.” Sutter already knows how the story will unfold—not that he’s willing to spoil it. “The question is, does Jax ever get the whole truth? Is he supposed to get the whole truth? If he only gets part of the truth, what does that mean? We’ll play with all that stuff,” he says cagily. “I think once he gets information, as much of it as he gets, we’ll see it play out in a different emotional way.” READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' star Theo Rossi names another show that made him cry

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Theo Rossi will admit he was competitive playing Scene It? with his friends when they first moved from New York to LA, so it’s no surprise that he’s an entertainment junkie. To prove it, the man who plays Juice on FX’s Sons of Anarchy sat down to take one of our Pop Culture Personality Tests.

Watch the video and read the transcript the below—then feel guilty for thinking Juice must die this season. READ FULL STORY

You need to watch 'The Simpsons' premiere's insane opening sequence

Shout all you want that The Simpsons hasn’t been good for the past [insert number less than or equal to 16] years; either way, you can’t deny that the show’s recent spate of elaborate, extended couch gags has led to some dazzling, audaciously creative stuff.

This is especially true when The Simpsons turns over its opening to famous animators and filmmakers like Michal SochaGuillermo del Toro—and, most recently, indie idol Don Hertzfeldt, beloved for absurdist fare like the Oscar-nominated short film Rejected. (Contrary to semi-popular belief, he has nothing to do with those lookalike Pop Tart commercials from 2011; as the F.A.Q. section of his website states, “Unfortunately it seems to be the vogue these days for creatively bankrupt corporate types to copy his work, which is why you may be noticing an abundance of vaguely familiar, cowardly lifeless parrots parading around selling Pop Tarts or mobile phones.”) READ FULL STORY

Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader tease reporter in interview gone wrong

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This is one of the reasons why press screenings were invented.

READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' premiere recap: The start of something new (and odd)

Are SNL‘s growing pains over as it enters its 40th season? It certainly didn’t seem that way from the show’s bizarre season opener. While Chris Pratt—and Chris Pratt’s abs, in a supporting role—conducted themselves amiably, the show seemed to lack the festive air we’d expect from a premiere tied to such an important season. Instead, it seemed on a mission to prove that a new era has come to Studio 8H—one with a markedly different tone.

There was only one notable cameo, and it came from Pratt’s wife, Anna Faris—not, as might have been expected, his Parks and Recreation costar Amy Poehler. In fact, there was little about the show that was familiar. It seemed intent on showing off the new generation, lingering on new cast member Pete Davidson and its brand-new Weekend Update lineup. Even Leslie Jones, an SNL writer who joined the show midway through last year and made a controversial appearance on Update in May, had a chance to show off her material.

This confidence resonates better than last season’s opener, when the new cast members were forced to endure the “New Cast Member or Arcade Fire” sketch. But in doing so, the show seemed to push aside some of its strongest, more veteran players, like Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer. Let’s move on to specifics:

READ FULL STORY

Chris Pratt hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live' premiere: Talk about it here!

Saturday Night Live comes back tonight? Honestly, thanks to a hiatus filled with casting announcements and Update shakeups and meticulous analysis of the show’s history (not to mention Live from New York‘s rerelease), it sort of feels like it never left. (Just me?)

Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be champing at the bit for tonight’s 40th season premiere—a sure-to-be splashy episode featuring a leaner, meaner cast, an all-new pair at the Weekend Update desk, and a host with potential to immediately join the list of greats. Maybe it’d be best to go over topics of discussion point by point: READ FULL STORY

The bachelor George Clooney bon voyage tour: 10 romantic roles in Clooney history

A million leggy models/bartenders/aspiring red carpet hosts are having a little cry on the inside as George Clooney prepares to marry lawyer Amal Alamuddin in a reported 4-day fete in Venice. WE tv shares the same sentiment as they announced a “Bye George!” Roseanne marathon, airing Clooney-centric Roseanne  episodes starting Sunday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m. E.T. To those around the world who are still holding a candle for the Cloonz, here’s a nostalgic look back at some of Clooney’s great romantic roles in past and recent history.

READ FULL STORY

Chris Pratt plays Word Sneak, explains his first headshot on 'Fallon'

Chris Pratt stretched his improv skills ahead of his Saturday Night Live hosting duties this Saturday, Sept. 27 by appearing on The Tonight Show. And if his game of “Word Sneak” with Jimmy Fallon is any indication, Pratt is more than ready for any off-the-cuff moments Studio 8H might require of him.

READ FULL STORY

Hear Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper's 'Truly Brave' mash-up

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Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” seem like a perfect match with their inspirational messages of self acceptance.  READ FULL STORY

Key and Peele's ultimate comedy curriculum, from 'Who's on First?' to 'Veep'

What are the essential sketches, performers, and shows every comedy nerd should know? EW’s guest editors Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele offer a master class. Warning: Some of the clips ahead contain strong language.

1. Eddie Murphy
As Key says, “I don’t know if there’s ever been anybody in history working at a level like he was working at. To have that much talent, that much charm, that much discipline, all of that wrapped up into one. To think about 48 Hrs., Trading Places. Aw, man!” Adds Peele: “If I had a kid and I wanted to form him into a perfect comedy nerd, I would tell him to watch the Saturday Night Live sketch where he puts on whiteface and he goes on the bus, and the last [nonwhite] guy walks off the bus and everyone starts a party. They’re passing around cigars and sh–. That’s a huge one.” READ FULL STORY

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