Yellowstone is in the middle of its seven episode long freshman season. The high octane drama has climbed steadily in ratings since its premiere, though it has gotten a luke warm critical reception. According to a report by Variety, the performance was enough for Paramount to order ten new episodes of Yellowstone, which are set to air sometime next year.
The show stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the patriarch of a massive ranch in Montana. The Dutton family ranch is the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, and it borders the Yellowstone National Park. Throughout the show, the Dutton family regularly deals with threats from neighboring ranches, land developers and the nearby Native American Reservation, all intent on carving out a slice of their home.
The show is set in modern times but closely examines the pioneer mentality, which is arguably still a part of the American psyche today. It is full of glorious shots of the sprawling landscape, and the whole cast puts on striking performances.
The show doubled its Nielsen rating last week, jumping from a 0.4 to a 0.8. It sees a big surge in viewership when accounting for the Live+3 and Live+7 ratings, which take into consideration the viewing habits of DVR users.
Taylor Sheridan is set to return as showrunner for season 2. Sheridan wrote the teleplay for all seven episodes in the first season, and shared executive producing duties with John Linson, Art Linson, David C. Glasser and Costner himself. Last year, Sheridan was nominated for an oscar for writing the screenplay for Hell or High Water.
The jump to 10 episodes in season 2 may be just what Yellowstone needs to upgrade its average reviews. The show has an average 5.86 out of 10 score among critics, with an even 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It is often accused of forcing unearned melodrama on story lines that have not been developed enough.
Still, it has an audience rating of 4.2 out of 5, with 85 percent saying that they liked it. The show may excel with more screen time to work with. Either way it is the biggest hit the Paramount Network has had in its short history, and only its third original series.
The season 1 finale of Yellowstone premieres on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. ET.