Hot on the heals of record-breaking viewership for its second season finale, FX has ordered a third season of the biker drama "Sons of Anarchy."
 
The "Sons of Anarchy" season finale drew 4.33 million total viewers, making it the show's most watched episode to date, surpassing the 4.29 million viewers who watched the Season Two premiere. Splitting out that audience into demographics, "Sons of Anarchy" drew 2.99 million viewers in the 18-49 demo and won its 10 p.m. Tuesday time period for all TV networks (broadcast included) among men 18-49 (1.92 million) and men 18-34 (1.09 million).
 
The "Sons of Anarchy" renewal had been expected for weeks, as the show's second season averaged 3.67 million total viewers, up 66 percent over the show's first season average. The 2.56 million viewers 18-49 was a 75 percent increase over the first season. In adults 18-49 and men 18-49, "Sons of Anarchy" ranks as basic cable's top scripted series of 2009.
 
"The success of Sons of Anarchy is very gratifying and the show has become a bona-fide hit," states FX President John Landgraf. "The critics have recognized 'Sons' as one the best series on television, and the show has earned its place alongside FX’s great drama series 'The Shield,' 'Nip/Tuck,' 'Rescue Me' and 'Damages.' Creatively, this season was spectacular and all credit goes to Kurt and the incredible cast led by Katey Sagal, Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman."
 
FX has given "Sons of Anarchy" a 13-episode order for a third season to premiere in September of 2010. In addition, showrunner Kurt Sutter signed a two year deal to continue as writer and showrunner, while all surviving cast members are in place to return.
 
"This has been a wonderful ride and we’re just getting started. I’m really proud of the work by our incredible cast and crew," Sutter states. "The response this season from the fans and critics has been terrific and I can’t wait to get back to the writer’s room and start on season three."