The bikers of FX drama Sons Of Anarchy really revved their engines last night. The 10 PM Season 6 premiere of the Kurt Sutter-created series was watched by 5.87 million viewers Tuesday with 3.94 million among adults 18-49. That’s a series record for SOA in both the demo and in viewership. It also makes the SOA Season 6 debut the No. 1 show on both broadcast and cable TV among the key demo. FX estimates that when the Live+7 numbers come in last night’s show will be the most watched program in the network’s 19-year history. The previous Live+7 record holder was the Season 5 debut of SOA which garnered 5.37 million viewers total and 3.5 million among adults 18-49. In Live+SameDay, Tuesday’s 10 PM 90-minute episode was up 9% from the Season 5 debut overall viewers and up 13% among the adults 18-49 that  SOA’s Season 5 debut drew on September 11, 2012 at 10 PM.

That 90-minute show last year was the best season premiere and the top-rated episode the SAMCRO gang had in its series history before last night’s Season 6 debut. Overall, the beginning of SOA’s penultimate sixth season, which saw intrigue, sex, violence, betrayal and a shocking shooting with serious implications for SAMCRO at the end of the episode, pulled in 8.09 million viewers and 5.30 million in the demo with its initial airing and 11 PM encore last night. The December 4 Season 5 finale of Sons Of Anarchy drew in 4.66 million viewers and 2.99 million in the key demo in Live+Same Day ratings.

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