'Sons of Anarchy' premiere posts series-best ratings, plus sneak a peek at what's to come

samcro-soa-s4.jpg"Sons of Anarchy" returned to FX in a big way Tuesday (Sept. 6) -- in fact, in a bigger way than it's ever done before.

The show's fourth-season premiere set a series high with 4.94 million viewers in its initial airing, breaking its previous record (4.32 million for the Season 2 finale) by more than 600,000 viewers. About 3.2 million of those viewers fell into the adults 18-49 demographic, also a record for the series.

Adding in two encores of the 90-minute premiere, 7.25 million people watched the "SOA" premiere Tuesday, a 28-percent improvement over the multi-telecast total for last year's debut. FX also says that when DVR viewing is factored in in a couple weeks' time, Tuesday's premiere will likely be the most-watched episode of an FX original series ever.

(Side note: Series creator Kurt Sutter famously quit tweeting earlier this summer, but promised on his blog that if the season premiere improved by more than 20 percent over last hear, he'd start up again. With the ratings news, @sutterink is back in business.)

"I want to thank Kurt Sutter and our amazing cast and crew for a job well done, along with our programming, marketing and publicity departments," FX president and general manager John Landgraf says. "Last night's ratings are indicative of the passion the audience has for this wonderful show."

Now that you've seen the premiere, here's a peek at some of what's to come this season. Take a look:

Photo/Video credit: FX
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