Was it a good decision to air a new “Sons of Anarchy” season 5 episode up against the Presidential election Tuesday night? This is something that we wondered during our actual review for the episode, largely since it was such an unpredictable gamble based largely on the fact that this was around the time that election results tend to heat up, and voters anxious to say that they were there when the race was called would be hesitant to turn the dial.
Ironically, anyone could have watched the FX show and found out about President Obama’s victory with about five minutes to spare, but that did not end up changing the viewing figures in any capacity. Instead, what we ended up seeing here was an average of just under four million viewers for the night, and also a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
We should be smart here to stress this first and foremost: these are great numbers, and most networks would be proud to have these on cable. Heck, CBS would probably kill to have a show Tuesday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern to score more than a 2.0 rating. However, it is still a drop of four-tenths of a ratings point from the episode the week before, and that has to show you that FX made the wrong move here in counter-programming.
Could you make the argument here that the network was trying to just get these episodes out of the way before the holidays? Sure, but consider this: even if they had preempted this episode for another week, they would have still been able to wrap “Sons of Anarchy” season 5 over a week before Christmas Eve. Then again, the DVR figures may be enough here still to make up for the difference in viewership, though anyone knows that the network would have preferred to have these people watching live.
What do you think: did FX make a major blunder here in deciding not to move back “Sons of Anarchy” due to the election?