The freight train known as Yellowstone is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, with four seasons now in the bag, Taylor Sheridan's family drama is only picking up speed. The series has been the number one show on cable for some time, but it is now shattering its own records as it gets even bigger heading into Season 5, showing that traditional TV releases aren't quite dead after all.
Yellowstone's Season 4 finale, which aired on the Paramount Network on January 2nd, was the show's most-watched episode to-date. The series was 9.3 million viewers in Live+Same Day numbers, which nearly doubled the Season 3 finale viewership (5.2 million). It's also the most-watched cable TV telecast since the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead, which drew 11.4 million viewers back in 2017.
The Season 4 premiere of Yellowstone was previously the most-viewed in the show's history, with just over 8 million Live+Same Day viewers. The finale eclipsed not only that veiwership record, but also the ratings record, with 1.9 million people in the 18-49 demographic tuning in to watch on Sunday night. When you include the CMT simulcast and repeat numbers, Yellowstone's finale actually reached a total of 11 million viewers on its first night.
"Yellowstone continues to shatter records with more than 11 million viewers tuning into the season finale, proving we've hit a cultural nerve – from the center of the country to each of the coasts – and still have lots of room to grow on linear," said Chris McCarthy, President and CEO, ViacomCBS Media Networks. "Our strategy to franchise Yellowstone into a universe of series to fuel growth for Paramount+ is already exceeding expectations with 1883 and Mayor of Kingstown proving to be two of the top titles."
In a time when most of the industries attention is on streaming services, Yellowstone remains a television unicorn. The episodes of Season 4 have not been made available to stream anywhere, except for on-demand options through a cable service that includes Paramount Network. Fans of the series have to watch the traditional way if they want to see what happens to the Duttons and their ranch, and Yellowstone certainly has quite a few fans.
When Season 5 of Yellowstone eventually hits TVs around the country, it won't be surprising to see numbers even bigger than these.