Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone has hit one more set of series highs, crushing its past rating records with the Season 4 debut. Sunday night’s opener of Paramount Network’s flagship series featuring Oscar winner Kevin Costner attracted an amazing 8 million total watchers Live+Same Day, up an astounding 104% from the Season 3 debut one year prior (4.2 million). That makes it the most-watched link series broadcast since a 2018 episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, as indicated by Nielsen information given by the network. The debut on the ad-supported Paramount Network likewise eclipsed HBO’s juggernaut Game of Thrones, which drew 6.6 million L+SD watchers for its Season 4 opener on the premium cable network.
The Season 4 debut of Yellowstone hit another series high in the key grown-ups 18-49 demo, attracting a 3.26 rating grown-ups 18-49 (L+SD), up 82% from the Season 3 debut. Versus the Season 3 average, the debut was up a major 119% (3.26 versus 1.49).
The 2 million grown-ups 18-49 watchers and 2.9 millions in grown-ups 25-54 were the biggest L+SD demo viewerships for an entertainment telecast on any network — broadcast or cable — in 2021, per Paramount Network.
Across four networks (Paramount Network broadcasts and simulcasts on CMT, TV Land and Pop) the Season 4 debut drew 9.5 million complete watchers, up 86% versus Season 3 debut across similar organizations (5.1 million). The entire night occasion, including debuts and reprises, delivered 11.2 million watchers, up 69% versus the Season 3 debut (6.6 million).
“Taylor has created a riveting world that our remarkable cast led by Kevin Costner brings to life in a way audiences can’t get enough of,” said Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group. “The Yellowstone season four premiere numbers are just another reason why we are thrilled to deepen our relationship with Taylor and capitalize on this tremendous momentum by building out the Yellowstone franchise together.”
The previous evening’s debut gave a few stunning diverts and surprises following from the Season 3 finale, which saw John Dutton (Costner) shot and left for dead by a side of the road, his daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) fired after her associate opened a box with a bomb packed in it, and Kayce (Luke Grimes) last seen upsetting his desk and returning fire as gunmen sprayed automatic weapon fire toward him. There likewise was an unexpected demise: the Time Equities executive and fly fishing aficionado Roarke, played by Josh Holloway, who passed on in the wake of being nibbled by a snake.
Co-made by Sheridan and John Linson, Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the biggest touching farm in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders – land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park.
Yellowstone is co-produced by 101 Studios. Executive producers are John Linson, Art Linson, Sheridan, Costner, David C. Glasser and Bob Yari.
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