It’s a damn good time to be an Outsider. Yellowstone would become the top cable drama in ratings over the course of Season 2, and uphold this for Season 3. But Season 4’s premiere would shatter all expectations. In light of this, fans are lauding our favorite show over on Reddit’s Yellowstone board. And as Redditor awal0n cites with a straight-to-the-point headline:
‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Premiere Delivers Highest Cable Ratings in Over 3 Years’
Numbers released by Deadline cite Taylor Sheridan’s flagship series drawing a remarkable 8 million total viewers the night of Nov. 7, 2021. The total comes courtesy of live cable television, online cable streaming, and Same Day streaming services. In fact, Season 4’s premiere viewership was up a staggering 104% over Season 3’s 2020 premiere of 4.2 million viewers. This makes the Yellowstone Season 4 premiere the most-watched episode of television since a similar-scoring episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead in 2018 (Nielsen data cites). And that was only the beginning.
Fans see this as far from undeserved, too. As u/och_elo offers up: “The 10-15 minutes between the end of S3 and beginning of S4 was possibly the best TV I’ve ever watched.”
“This should show the producers and writers of TV shows that if you don’t put out weak, recycled trash with the same old tired tropes again and again that people will be drawn to it and want to watch it,” adds Yellowstone fan IllBeBack.
Fans Love Show’s Success, Question Paramount’s ‘Gatekeeping’
Yet as Redditor MairmanChao points out, this wild success is exactly what’s led to many fans’ frustration. Yellowstone is infamously mangled when it comes to streaming. It’s not on Paramount+, the company’s own streaming service. It’s not even on Peacock, where the studio sold the rights for seasons 1-3 to NBC. Instead, Paramount is looking to milk as much cable money and subscriptions out of fans as they can in order to keep people feeding the “old ways” of cable-dominated entertainment.
“Paramount knows this too, which is why they’re gatekeeping the hell out of the streaming rights for the current season to cable subscribers,” MairmanChao posts on the Reddit thread. They know it’s basically the only show on TV with a wide appeal that is a legit draw.”
Regardless, other fans continue to praise Yellowstone‘s success. “Impressive. It’s become a real sleeper hit,” adds u/desepticon.
Yet as och_elo replies: “Doesn’t seem like a sleeper anymore!”
Too true. Seasons 1-3 were a slow build in popularity. But by Season 2’s end, the show would become cable’s #1 drama across the board. This would hold true for Season 3, which broke records in 2020. And as we now know, Season 4 has managed to shatter all of the above.