'Sons of Anarchy' ratings beat broadcast networks

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FX Sons of Anarchy continues its fifth season hot streak.

While broadcast shows at 10 p.m. on Tuesday are struggling to stay above a 2.0 in the adults 18-49 demo this fall, the biker drama cleared that hurdle with ease once again. All told, 4.6 million viewers tuned in and the show pulled a 2.4 in the demo, up 14 percent from last week and ranking as the fifth season’s best rating since last month’s premiere. By comparison, the broadcast nets aired CBS’ Vegas (12.1 million viewers, 2.0 in the demo), ABC’s Private Practice (6 million, 1.6) and NBC’s Parenthood (4.5 million, 1.6). This is tracking to be the highest-rated season for Sons yet.

What’s impressive is how ratings for heavily serialized cable shows like Dexter and SOA can continually grow. It’s easy to say, “NBC should have a show like Sons,” but season one ratings for Sons wouldn’t have been high enough to survive on broadcast. It’s only after being nurtured for years on FX that the series is now big enough to pose a threat.

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