'Sons of Anarchy' Premiere Hits Series Highs

The 90-minute Season 4 opener scored nearly 5 million viewers at 10 p.m.
Frank Ockenfels/FX
"Sons of Anarchy"

FX's Sons of Anarchy returned to the small screen without missing a beat.

The 90-minute fourth season premiere, which aired Tuesday night, scored the series' highest ratings ever, delivering 4.94 million total viewers at 10 p.m. -- a 20 percent uptick from its third season opener.

Among adults 18-49, Sons of Anarchy drew a record 3.22 million, an improvement of 15 percent. That's not all; the episode also posted highs in women 18-49 (1.33 million), adults 18-34 (1.8 million), women 18-34 (746,000), adults 25-54 (3.03 million) and women 25-54 (1.34 million).

Combined with two encores at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m., the Kurt Sutter-created drama drew 7.25 million viewers with 4.76 million in the ad-coveted demo -- increases of 28 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

The previous series high in tune-in was the second season finale, which averaged 4.32 million viewers in December 2009. The previous record in adults 18-49 was set September 2009 for the second season premiere.

FX is also touting the supersized episode as being the cable network's most-watched single episode ever for an original show when Live+7 data is counted.

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