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FX’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Returns With Series-High Ratings

It returns to 5.9 million viewers, tops all of television for the night in 18-49, other key demos

Sons of Anarchy Review Season Six

FX drama “Sons of Anarchy” revved up in the ratings Tuesday night, kicking off its sixth season with record highs.

According to Nielsen, the Kurt Sutter-created drama about an outlaw motorcycle club averaged 5.87 million viewers for its premiere, up from 5.37 million for its year-ago premiere and 4.93 for its fourth-season bow in 2011. It was cable’s most-watched program of the night.

FX says that last night’s debut episode of the penultimate season of “Sons” will likely become the #1-rated single telecast in FX history when Live+7 data becomes available in approximately three weeks.

Of course, the show is a demo darling, with more than two-thirds of its audience comprised of adults 18-49. It earned a 3.1 rating (about 3.94 million viewers in the age group, a network series record for Live+Same Day) — up from a 2.8 a year ago and 2.5 two years ago.

“Sons” was the No. 1 program on television for the night in 18-49, with its 3.1 well ahead of runner-up “America’s Got Talent” on NBC (2.3). It also was on top in adults 18-34, adults 25-54, men 18-49, men 18-34, men 25-54, women 18-49 and women 18-34.

Always a big draw with men, “Sons” on Tuesday saw impressive increases of 43% in women 18-34 (to 973,000) and 35% in women 18-49 (to 1.83 million) vs. last year’s premiere.