‘Yellowstone’ Becomes Cable’s Most Popular Show

Conventional wisdom holds that no linear TV show can capture a large audience in the age of streaming. “No,” said “Yellowstone”. The Kevin Costner-directed drama about a ranching family in Montana just aired its fourth season finale on the Paramount Network, and according to Deadline, he crushed it. “Grass in the Streets and Weeds on the Rooftops” drew 9.3 million total viewers in Live + Same Day ratings, up +81% from the Season 3 finale. simulcast viewers on CMT, and you have 10.3 million.

Overall, the “Yellowstone” finale was the most-watched telecast on cable since “The Walking Dead” Season 8 premiered on AMC in 2017, which drew 11.4 million viewers. And things might just get bigger from here.

“‘Yellowstone’ continues to break records with over 11 million viewers tuning in to the season finale, proving that we’ve touched a cultural nerve – from the center of the country to every coast – and that we still have plenty of room to grow linear,” said Chris McCarthy, director of ViacomCBS. “Our strategy to franchise ‘Yellowstone’ into a series universe to fuel Paramount+’s growth is already exceeding expectations with ‘1883’ and ‘Mayor of Kingstown ‘ proving to be two of the best titles.”

Where to stream “Yellowstone”

It’s true that ViacomCBS has begun to branch out, to create a “Yellowstone” cinematic universe, if you will. “1883” is a prequel series that follows the Duttons on their first trip to Montana in the 1880s, and it was a hit for Paramount+.

That said, you won’t actually be able to stream “Yellowstone” itself on Paramount+, at least not yet. The first three seasons are available to stream on rival streaming service Peacock, from all locations. Peacock’s creator, NBCUniversal, secured the broadcast rights to the show a few years ago; maybe ViacomCBS didn’t expect the show to become the hot property it was at the time and just wanted the license fee. I’m sure they’re kicking each other now.

We’ll see if “Yellowstone’s” winning streak continues with Season 5, likely later this year.

Javier E. Swan