You can lock up the boys of SAMCRO, but there's no containing the "Sons of Anarchy" fandom.
 
The FX motorcycle drama returned for its fourth season on Tuesday (September 6) night and drew the largest audience in series history.
 
The 90-minute "Sons of Anarchy" premiere drew 4.94 million total viewers, including a whopping 3.22 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Those numbers represented a 20 percent bump in viewers and a 15 percent spike among young viewers from last fall's third season premiere. It was also a big bump over the previous "SoA" high in viewers (4.32 million for the S.2 finale) and in the 18-49 demo (3.03 million for the S.2 premiere).
 
"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," states FX President John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. "Last night’s ratings are indicative of the passion the audience has for this wonderful show. Kurt has crafted one of the most compelling series on television, with the raw, blow-your-hair-back energy of a wide open Harley and the subtle complexity of a great book."
 
The regular 10 p.m. premiere was followed by two consecutive encore airings of the "Sons of Anarchy" premiere and including those showings, the opening night tally rose to 7.25 million viewers, including 4.76 million viewers in the 18-49 demo. 
 
FX went so far as to predict that once Live+7 data is available from Nielsen, the "Sons of Anarchy" could become the most-watched single episode ever for an FX original series.