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FX'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 FX 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).
The series stars Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman, Maggie Siff, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Tommy Flanagan, Ryan Hurst, Theo Rossi, and Dayton Callie. Guest stars this season include Jimmy Smits, Harold Perrineau, David Labrava, Danny Trejo, Benito Martinez, Rockmond Dunbar, Winter Ave Zoli, Michael Marisi Ornstein, Christopher Douglas Reed, and Chuck Zito.