’s acclaimed hit drama series Sons of Anarchy set new ratings benchmarks last night as the 90-minute Season 5 premiere episode became the most-watched episode in its history (Live+SameDay), and it is likely to be the most-watched single telecast ever on when Live+7 data is made available from The Nielsen Company.
The first-run episode of the Sons Season 5 debut (9/11/12, 10-11:30 PM) delivered 5.37 million Total Viewers, 3.5 million Adults 18-49, and 3.45 million Adults 25-54, marking series highs and posting gains of +10% in Total Viewers, +9% in Adults 18-49, and +14% in Adults 25-54 versus its record-setting fourth-season bow. Last night’s premiere telecast and two encore runs (11:30 PM and 1 AM) combined to deliver 7.5 million Total Viewers and 4.86 million Adults 18-49.
The Season 5 premiere episode of SOA was television’s #1 primetime program (broadcast and cable) in delivery of Men 18-49 (2.15 million) and Men 18-34 (1.18 million). It was cable’s #1 program on Tuesday in delivery of Total Viewers, Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, Adults 25-54, Men 18-49 and Men 18-34. It also was In addition, it took television’s top spot in the 10 PM time period, beating everything on the broadcast networks in Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Adults 25-54.
“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. “The fact that the season 5 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.”
On a Live+Same Day or Live only basis, last night’s telecast of SOA ranked as FX’s most-watched telecast in its 18-year history in delivery of Men 18-49 (2.15 million) and Men 18-34 (1.18 million).
Previous high ratings (Live+Same Day) for a single episode of Sons of Anarchy were 4.93 million Total Viewers and 3.22 million Adults 18-49, both for the season 4 premiere telecast (9/6/11).
FX has ordered 13 episodes for the fifth season which will air Tuesdays at 10 PM ET/PT. In next Tuesday’s second episode, “Authority Vested” (Sept. 18), Jax and SAMCRO are challenged as past sins resurface. (Written by Regina Corrado; directed by Peter Weller).