The Nielsen Live+3 ratings numbers are in, and Yellowstone has smashed more of its own records.
Sunday night’s Season 4 premiere drew 12.7 million total viewers across Paramount Network and three simulcasts on CMT, Pop and TV Land. That is up 66% vs the Season 3 premiere (7.6 million). Including encores, the season opener drew 14.7 million viewers on premiere night, per Nielsen.
On Paramount Network only, the Season 4 premiere drew 10.5 million total viewers, up 60% vs the Season 3 premiere, and drew a 4.19 rating, up 64% vs. Season 3 premiere rating (2.56) in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.
“Over 14 million viewers tuned in for our Yellowstone premiere which will now serve as massive launch pad as we sneak episodes of Taylor Sheridan’s new series Mayor of Kingstown, whose full season will be rolling out exclusively on Paramount+ starting Sunday,” said Chris McCarthy, President and CEO, MTV Entertainment Group. “Taylor 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 capitalize on this tremendous momentum by building out the Yellowstone franchise together.”
Yellowstone is currently the top series of the season across all television, including broadcast, cable, and premium networks, and Sunday’s opener is now the most-watched season premiere on cable since The Walking Dead in 2017.
The Season 4 premiere provided several shocking turns and surprises following from the Season 3 finale, which saw John Dutton (Costner) shot and left for dead by a roadside, his daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) fired after her assistant opened a box with a bomb packed in it, and Kayce (Luke Grimes) last seen overturning his desk and returning fire as gunmen sprayed automatic weapon fire in his direction. There also was a surprise death: the Time Equities exec and fly fishing fanatic Roarke, played by Josh Holloway, who died after being bitten by a snake.
Co-created by Sheridan and John Linson, Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders – land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park.
Jacki Weaver, Piper Perabo and Kathryn Kelly guest star. In addition to Costner, Grimes and Reilly, ensemble cast includes Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Forrie Smith, Denim Richards, Ian Bohen, Finn Little, Ryan Bingham and Gil Birmingham with Will Patton.
Yellowstone is co-produced by 101 Studios. Stephen Kay and Ron Burkle, executive produce for 101 Studios, along with EPs John Linson, Art Linson, Sheridan, Costner, David C. Glasser and Bob Yari.
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