Oct 14, 2020
By Kelby Clark
Paramount Network’s Western drama breaks viewership records and entertains fans during the off-season.
Paramount Network’s Yellowstone finished its third season as the most watched cable entertainment program of 2020.
The show—which has garnered celebrity fans like Nelly, Jake Tapper, Carrie Underwood, and Mario Lopez—continues to set new viewership records each season. According to Nielsen, its season three finale drew 7.6 million total viewers—one million more viewers than any episode in the series’ history. It dominated the night on social media as well. On Facebook alone, the third season was No. 1 for views and engagements across cable and linear series programming. The series’ co-creator Taylor Sheridan, who signed an overall deal with ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands last February, said the realism is a big part of what makes the show so compelling for fans.
“People tune in to the show for varying reasons, but the authenticity of the show is its bedrock,” Sheridan told Deadline. “From the saddles that are used, from the kind of horses that we use, to the situations that I place them in that if you don’t spend your afternoons moving cattle, you don’t know those situations exist.”
The show follows the Montana-based Dutton family and its patriarch, Kevin Costner’s character John Dutton, as they struggle to protect their ranch from land developers, bankers, and Native American activists, among other threats. The scope and scale of production makes for a cinematic experience that ViacomCBS now plans to adapt for new, original scripted programming as part of a plan to rebrand Paramount Network as the Paramount Movie Network in 2021.