We knew that millions of fans sat down to watch the new season of Yellowstone, though perhaps we didn’t know just how many there were. As it turns out–this show is popular!
The season five premiere of the Kevin Costner-led western drama drew in 12.1 million (!) same-day viewers. According to analytics company Samba TV, Yellowstone is now the top scripted series premiere of 2022. Sorry, Daemon.
The premiere secured 8.8 million viewers in its first airing on the Paramount Network, which then grew to 10.3 million viewers from simulcast airings on CMT, TV Land, and Pop before ultimately climbing to 12.1 million when adding in encore telecasts. For some perspective: the series premiere of House of the Dragon had roughly 10 million fans tuning in this past August. While House of the Dragon has some fun CGI and of course, dragons, Yellowstone appeals to a large part of the US that is often underrepresented: the midwest.
Maybe you haven’t heard of Yellowstone, but it’s probably your distant cousin’s favorite show which follows Costner as Joh Dutton, Montana’s newly-appointed governor, as he protects his family’s ranch from various stressful obstacles. The series began in 2018 and is now in its fifth season, in addition to the popular prequel show 1883 which premiered earlier this year, and the upcoming 1923.
Ashwin Navin, co-founder and CEO of Samba TV, says that this is what sets the series apart from other big-name shows on popular streaming services. “Yellowstone continues to tap into the passions of a broad swath of viewers throughout the American Midwest hungry for Western-themed genres that have been largely underrepresented on television in recent years. Viewership significantly over-indexed for the season premiere within cities such as St. Louis, Cleveland and Pittsburgh and not surprisingly under-indexed in the largely coastal urban centers of San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.”
Despite its growing popularity, creator Taylor Sheridan wants you to know that show isn’t just for your distant Republican relatives. Plus, Harrison Ford is involved now, and he’s cool! So it’s totally fine to watch. There will be millions tuning in right there with you.
Yellowstone seasons 1-4 are now streaming on Peacock.