The Sheridanverse continues to dominate. Paramount premiered the Yellowstone prequel (set in the even rougher West) in December 2021 to 5 million viewers, its entire run has been available to stream on Paramount+ for over a year, and it still pulled in 3.8 million viewers when Paramount reran the first two episodes on TV June 18th. 1883, which stars Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Isabel May, and LaMonica Garrett, tells the story of the Dutton ancestors who settled the ranch for their Yellowstone descendants.
Obviously, it’s already a big summer hit. Its success also offers an interesting question in our murky transition period between television and streaming: should Paramount have just put this on TV to begin with? They used it as an anchor to score more subscribers to their streaming service, but we plebes have no way of knowing how many of the millions who tuned in fired up their laptop the following week to keep watching. Or how many people who loved the first episodes were profoundly confused when it disappeared from their lives forever.
And does this signal that audiences are game to rewatch full series during the summer doldrums despite having full access to them already or that maybe Paramount should have just aired this and streamed it simultaneously to begin with? Tough to say (unless you’re the Paramount accounting department), especially while being this mesmerized by Sam Elliott’s mustache.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)