‘Yellowstone’ Is Breaking All Kinds Of Viewership Records

Yellowstone season 4 viewership numbers

Perhaps we’re living in an age where content about wealthy and dysfunctional families reign supreme. Perhaps there are simply far more people fantasising about turning white supremacists into swiss cheese with a revolver while defending their land. Whatever the case, Yellowstone is a monstrous hit with the viewership numbers to back it up.

In the age of streaming, it’s rare for a cable series to generate considerable numbers. But clearly, learning about the Duttons’ fate post-season 3 cliffhanger was compelling enough for 14.7 million viewers to tune in. When season 4 finally arrived earlier this month, the drama co-created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson earned itself the biggest cable premiere since The Walking Dead circa 2017 (9.3 million viewers). And keep in mind… this is before we account for Paramount+ and Stan streaming data.

“Taylor Sheridan has created a cinematic experience that our remarkable cast led by Kevin Costner brings to life in a way audiences can’t get enough of and we are excited to deepen our relationship with him and capitalise on this tremendous momentum by building out the Yellowstone franchise together,” says Chris McCarthy, President & CEO of the MTV Entertainment Group, in reference to the five year/US$150 million ViacomCBS deal the Sicario screenwriter signed earlier this year.



RELATED: Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Has A New Gritty Crime Show

The ratings outlined above courtesy of Nielsen, however, aren’t the only key indicators of Yellowstone’s rising popularity. According to Parrot Analytics (via Business Insider), something known as “audience demand” for the series has been increasing season after season since debuting in 2018.

The day after its premiered, demand for Yellowstone season 4 was:

  • 24% higher than season 3
  • 97% higher than season 2
  • 283% higher than season 1

Beyond the parameters of the Yellowstone franchise alone, at its peak, audience demand for season 4 was reportedly 34.6 times higher than the average show in the US (its highest peak yet). Currently, the only obstacle standing in its way of becoming the most in-demand US cable series is The Walking Dead (excluding premium cable networks, i.e. HBO, Showtime, STARZ).

Viewership numbers for the second week of Yellowstone season 4 proved just as strong. As Nellie Andreeva of Deadline explains:

Posting linear ratings not seen on ad-supported cable in years and rarely seen on broadcast television these days... the Taylor Sheridan drama starring Kevin Costner drew massive 7.5 million viewers in Live+Same Day, just -7% off its record-breaking two-hour season premiere the previous week. In adults 18-49 (3.19 rating in Week Two), the drop-off was even smaller: -4%. And in live viewing, Yellowstone actually increased its 18-49 rating, from 1.66 for the premiere to 1.72 in Week Two on Paramount Network.

It certainly bodes well for anyone keen on more seasons of Yellowstone, its upcoming prequel spinoff Y: 1883, and pretty much anything Taylor Sheridan decides to touch like his other newly-launched, family-crime drama series starring Jeremy Renner, Mayor of Kingston.