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September 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

All that free publicity last week over the selection of the relatively unknown Charlie Hunnam to star as Christian Grey in the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey may have had an unexpected consequence: it may have boosted ratings for the season premiere of the cable-TV drama Sons of Anarchy in which he stars. The show attracted 6 million viewers on the FX network Tuesday night, up from 5.3 million who watched last season’s premiere. It was one of those rare times that a drama on a cable-TV network beat its competition on the broadcast networks. It led in the key 18-49 age group and among male viewers. Today’s (Thursday) New York Post reported that FX execs expect those ratings to grow when DVR viewership is assessed, making it the highest-rated show in the network’s history. It premiered in 2008 with 4.8 million viewers. Focusing on the leader of an outlaw motorcycle club played by Hunnam, the series has primarily attracted male viewers, but with an estimated 50 million copies of Fifty Shades sold mostly to women, the boost in Tuesday’s ratings may likely have been generated by curiosity among female viewers.