'Sons of Anarchy' premiere shatters records

The explosive return of Sons of Anarchy did a number on the ratings, too: The 90-minute season 5 premiere attracted a whopping 5.37 million viewers, making it the most watched episode ever in the drama’s history on FX.

The episode was not only the No. 1 program on cable in viewers, adults 18-49 (3.5 million) and adults 25-54 (3.45 million), but it was the top-rated episode among men 18-49 and men 18-34 in all of broadcast and cable. It was up in all of the key demos too versus its fourth season premiere, including 10 percent in viewers and 14 percent in adults 25-54. In addition, it dominated the 10 o’clock hour in the key adult demos — even beating what was on broadcast TV.

“It’s so rare, especially in the current fragmented environment, to see a show grow into its fifth season,” said John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks, in a statement. “The fact that the season five premiere episode is also likely to become FX’s highest rated telecast of all time is a testament to the quality of work Kurt Sutter, the writers, directors, cast and crew have done on this extraordinarily ambitious and riveting drama.”

The SOA ranked as FX’s most-watched telecast in its 18-year history among men 18-49 (2.15 million) and men 18-34 (1.18 million).

Twelve more episodes will air on Tuesdays at 10. The motorcycle drama has already been picked up for a sixth season.

For more:

SOA premiere: Kim Coates takes us inside that scene
Gallery: 21 of the Most Disturbing TV Scenes Ever
‘Sons of Anarchy’ season premiere review: Was this the fall TV season’s most intense season premiere?

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