FX’s ‘Sons’ causes anarchy on Tuesday

Drama wins hour again in 18-49; 'Voice,' 'NCIS' top Tuesday

There’s a new young-adult leader in Tuesday’s 10 o’clock hour.

FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” taking advantage of continued softness by the broadcast networks in primetime’s final 60 minutes, has won the timeslot among adults 18-49 for a second straight week.

The drama about an outlaw motorcycle club averaged a 2.3 rating/7 share in same-night preliminary Nielsen estimates, topping NBC’s “Parenthood” (2.0/6) and CBS’ “Vegas” (2.0/5) as well as ABC’s “Private Practice” (1.6/4). “Vegas” was the hour’s runaway leader in total viewers (11.8 million).

“Sons” especially dominated among adults 18-34 (2.1/6 or 1.43 million viewers in the demo), and was the night’s No. 1 drama on television in that category. In men 18-49, its 1.7 million viewers put it second to CBS’ “NCIS” (1.85 million) among Tuesday dramas.

Now in its fifth season, “Sons” is averaging about 3 million adults 18-49 per episode, well up from its 2.6 million season average a year ago and its strongest season to date. Its overall average audience this fall of nearly 4.5 million is also up nicely over its previous high, set last year, of 3.9 million.

“Sons of Anarchy” is one of a handful of cable dramas capable of topping the broadcast offerings — even during the heat of the Big Four’s new-season rollout. AMC’s “Walking Dead” will unleash its zombies on the broadcasters Sunday, and FX’s “American Horror Story” should be a ratings factor in its Wednesday timeslot when it returns next week.

Elsewhere, while NBC’s “The Voice” and CBS’ “NCIS” were the top draws Tuesday, the night was also a good one for a pair of rookies — Fox’s “The Mindy Project” and CBS’ “Vegas” — which stopped the bleeding in their third weeks.

NBC prevailed among adults 18-49 while CBS was a close second and won in both adults 25-54 and total viewers. NBC has now been the No. 1 broadcaster on three straight in-season nights in 18-49 with regular programming for the first time since 2003.

“The Voice” (4.4/13, 11.9 million) was up from its premiere-week Tuesday score of two weeks ago and was the night’s No. 1 program in both 18-49 and 25-54 (5.3/13). It was followed by rookie comedies “Go On” (2.8/7, 7.0 million) and “The New Normal” (2.0/5, 5.0 million), which edged out their Fox comedy competish in 18-49.

And closing out the night was “Parenthood” (2.0/6, 5.0 million), which hit a season high and tied for the hour’s broadcast lead in 18-49.

At CBS, “NCIS” (3.3/10, 18.1 million) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2.9/8, 15.1 million) were both down in demos week to week, but 10 p.m. rookie “Vegas” (2.0/5, 11.8 million) held at last week’s level and tied “Parenthood.”

All three CBS shows again dominated their hours in total viewers, with “NCIS” the night’s most popular show overall and “NCIS: Los Angeles” gaining slightly week to week by this measure.

Fox’s comedy block as a whole was on par with last week, with “Raising Hope” up a tick at 8 (1.8/5, 4.1 million) and newbie “Ben & Kate” down a tick at 8:30 (1.5/4, 3.3 million). Anchor “New Girl” (2.7/7, 5.0 million) and rookie “The Mindy Project” (1.9/5, 3.6 million) were in line with last week’s results.

Fox has preached patience with its young comedy block, picking up full seasons of “Ben” and “Mindy” despite their nothing-special early scores.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” results show (2.1/6, 13.2 million) and “Private Practice” (1.6/4, 6.1 million) matched their same-night deliveries of last week. In Live+3 DVR playback numbers last week, “Private Practice” joined NBC’s “Parenthood” in finishing just a tick behind CBS’ “Vegas” in 18-49.

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