Yellowstone's Season 4 Premiere Raked in a Huge Audience, Beating Its Own Record

Kevin Costner stars in the surprise mega-hit Yellowstone.
Kevin Costner stars in the surprise mega-hit Yellowstone. / Paramount Network

Sometimes there’s a show that gets incredibly popular without it seeming like many people are talking about it. NCIS is a widely-viewed series, for example, but do you know anyone who watches it regularly?

The same is true of Yellowstone, a period drama about the Dutton family, which owns the largest cattle ranch in the United States. Headed up by Kevin Costner as patriarch John Dutton, the family confronts land developments, a Native American reservation, and the first national park, in addition to plenty of dramatic twists and turns. The finale of season 3 ended with John Dutton shot and left for dead on a roadside.

It turns out a lot of people tuned in to the season 4 premiere on the Paramount Network to find out what happened next. As reported by Deadline, the episode brought in a staggering 8 million live and same-day viewers, up 104 percent from the season 3 premiere in 2020. Those are the highest ratings for a cable show since an episode of The Walking Dead in 2018. They also eclipsed the ratings for the season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones, which brought in 6.6 million live and same-day viewers (although HBO is premium cable whereas the Paramount Network is basic cable).

Where to Stream Yellowstone

Though Yellowstone airs on the Paramount Network, you cannot stream it on Paramount+. Instead, the first three seasons are available on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. And the only way to stream season 4 is to log into the Paramount Network website.

It’s a result of NBCUniversal picking up streaming rights to the show in early 2020, before either Peacock or Paramount+ made their debuts. Things change fast in the streaming wars.

And if you’d just rather watch Yellowstone like a normal TV show, new episodes drop Sundays on the Paramount Network.