Just as it shows no mercy to its characters, FX’s relentless biker drama Sons of Anarchy punished its TV competitors Tuesday night, scoring 5.87 million total viewers, becoming the small screen’s No. 1 show for the night, broadcast and cable. When adding in those who watched the encore presentation, the viewership goes up to 8.09 total viewers — damn near Duck Dynasty territory! The network forecasts that once the Live + 7 data comes in (that’s the people who watched it live, or caught it on DVR within seven days), the Sons of Anarchy ratings for the Season 6 premiere will be the most-watched event in FX history.
It was a 9% increase over the Season 5 premiere, and registered a jaw-dropping 43% and 35% increase in key demographics of women viewers. Gee, this couldn’t have anything to do with Sons star Charlie Hunnam recently being cast in the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, could it? I guess not everyone was so upset by it.
Regardless of the reason — it could have something to do with this being billed as the penultimate season, and the fact that it’s just a consistently damn good show — FX has to be loving it. As popular as the show has proven to be over the years, there were some real-world factors at play that could have proven a distraction. The premiere aired the same night President Obama was addressing the nation on the ever-changing situation in Syria, and the subject matter of the episode involved a school shooting eerily similar to the tragedy in Newtown. Not to mention it came on the day before another anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. But SAMCRO still got its viewers, and there’s not reason to think it’s only going to get more intense as the season continues.
Sons of Anarchy airs 10pm Tuesdays on FX.
Photo: Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX