NYTimes.com — The premiere of the final season of the FX drama “Sons of Anarchy” scored the best ratings of any program in the 20-year history of the cable channel, with 9.25 million viewers between the live telecast and three days of playback.
The show also attracted 6.1 million viewers among the 18-to-49-year-old audience, which, like the total audience, ranked second among all series premieres on cable this year, topped only by “The Walking Dead,” the enormous hit on AMC.
FX pointed out that “Sons of Anarchy” had more viewers for its premiere than the huge HBO hit “Game of Thrones” — though, to be fair, HBO is available in far fewer homes than FX.
But another comparison was entirely fair. Last Tuesday, when “Sons of Anarchy” played on FX, it was the most-watched show of the night on any channel in the 18-to-49 group, topping CBS’s “Big Brother” by almost three million viewers.
Taking a page from AMC, which has turned its talk series, “Talking Dead” — about “The Walking Dead” — into a separate hit, FX also added a commentary show to follow “Sons of Anarchy” on Tuesdays. That show, “Anarchy Afterword,” attracted just under four million viewers.