Boosted by the star power of Kevin Costner, the two-hour series premiere of Yellowstone on Paramount Network averaged 2.8 million viewers in Live+same day to become the most-watched original scripted series telecast ever on Paramount Network — up triple-digits from the net’s primitive averages — and on its predecessor Spike.
Yellowstone’s average premiere audience more than doubled that of Paramount Network’s first scripted drama series, Waco (+156%), and more than tripled the debut viewership of new comedy American Woman.
Additionally, Yellowstone was the second-most watched ad-supported cable scripted drama series premiere since The People v. O.J. Simpson on FX in 2016, only behind AMC’s anthology series The Terror, which benefited from a big lead-in from The Walking Dead.
Yellowstone’s premiere audience climbed to nearly 4 million when the two encores are factored in and is expected to climb further in Live+3.
As can be expected given the subject matter, Yellowstone was older skewing, drawing a 1.0 in adults 25-54 LSD, a .7 in adults 18-49.
From Oscar-nominated writer/executive producer Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, which is under constant attack by those it borders — land developers, an Indian reservation and America’s first National Park.