Discovery, A&E, MTV and FX all post impressive ratings

The lure of choppers, storage lockers, teen moms and bikers has added up to one of cable’s top-rated nights of the year.

Discovery Channel’s “American Chopper” took off to big numbers Tuesday, a night that also saw very impressive premieres by A&E’s “Storage Wars: Texas” and MTV’s “Teen Mom 2.” Throw in FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” which continues to rev up record ratings, and it was one of the top-rated nights for cable this fall. Sure, the broadcasters aired some repeats, but the strong showingis another sign that the biggest cable nets aren’t afraid to take on the Big Four at any time of the year.

Looking at the Nielsen numbers, “American Chopper Live: The Build Off” averaged a 2.4 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 4.77 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour; in the demo it lagged behind only Fox’s combo of “New Girl” and “Raising Hope.”

It was also the No. 1 program of the night among men 18-49 (3.3/9) and 25-54 (3.6/9).

“Chopper” was followed by the series preem of “Moonshiners” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.83m), which saw the top-rated series launch to date for Discovery.

Over at A&E, “Storage Wars: Texas” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.06m), a spinoff of the net’s top-rated nonfiction franchise, got off to the best start for any series in A&E history. Show, which follows teams of bidders on their quest for auction gold, followed an episode of the original “Storage Wars” (2.1/6, 4.79m).

MTV’s “Teen Mom 2″ kicked off its second season in a big way (2.4/7 in 18-49, 4.15m) — ruling as the top cable program of the night in women 18-49 (3.7/10) and the No. 1 show on television among women 18-34 (6.0/18). It was up about 20% over the previous “Teen Mom 2″ premiere in January, and the best start in franchise history.

And at FX, “Sons of Anarchy” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.24m) beat all of television’s scripted competition in the 10 o’clock hour and was the No. 2 or No. 3 show of the night on cable in most categories.

With CBS airing repeats of its dramas, the top 18-49 shows of Tuesday night were new episodes of Fox’s “New Girl” (3.4/9) and “Glee” (3.0/8).

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