The Hollywood trade press is trumpeting the news that the series finale of FX’s drama Sons of Anarchy had a “record” high number of viewers. But this claim isn’t telling the whole story.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the December 9th Sons of Anarchy finale was viewed by 9.2 million total viewers, who either watched the program live or recorded within three days of the broadcast. FX representatives boasted about how this was the highest rating of any show in FX’s history.
However, it’s worth noting that almost as many people watched CBS’ December 7th I Love Lucy special, which drew 8.7 million viewers. That’s right: almost as many people watched a 60 YEAR OLD RERUN as watched FX’s sex-slathered, ultra-violent biker drama!
Nor is this trend unique to Sons of Anarchy. Every year, CBS also insists on airing the sleazy hour-long lingere commercial The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This year, two hours earlier, CBS also aired the beloved holiday favorite Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph garnered 10.6 million viewers, while the underwear ad only drew 9 million.
The entertainment industry continues to brag about how many people watch their graphic programming; but it is clear there are many more people who’d rather watch clean, family-friendly programming.