‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Premiere Ratings Skyrocket To 14.7 Million Viewers

by Samantha Whidden

The season four premiere of Paramount Network’s hit series Yellowstone reportedly saw its ratings soar to 14.7 million linear viewers in Nielsen’s L3 ratings. The show’s latest season premiered on Sunday (November 7th).

According to Variety, Yellowstone’s numbers soared to 14.7 million viewers without any boost from streaming services. Speaking about the incredible premiere numbers, Chris McCarthy, President and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group, shared with the media outlet that the Yellowstone premiere success will serve as a “massive launch pad” as the network prepares to sneak in episodes of Taylor Sheridan’s new series Mayor of Kingstown.

“Taylor [who is also Yellowstone’s creator] has created a cinematic experience that our remarkable cast led by Kevin Costner brings to life in a way audience can’t get enough of,” McCarthy declared. “And we are excited to deepen our relationship with him. And capitalize on this tremendous momentum by building out the Yellowstone franchise together.”

McCarthy also revealed that Mayor of Kingstown and the Yellowstone spin-off 1883 are first-up from Sheridan’s exclusive multi-year pact with MTV Entertainment and ViacomCBS. This includes scripted and procedural series for streaming and linear. 

Variety further revealed that the 14.7 million figure is up 58% compared to Yellowstone’s third season premiere. The previous season’s premiere saw 9.3 million viewers. The show’s premiere that simulcast across Paramount Net, CMT, Pop, and TV Land is also up 66%. This is compared to its third season premiere (12.7 versus 7.6 million views). 

Taylor Sheridan Reveals Details About Selecting Kevin Costner For ‘Yellowstone’ 

During a 2018 interview with Variety, Taylor Sheridan shared why he selected Kevin Costner for the role of John Dutton in Yellowstone. “Kevin’s one of the biggest movie stars of the past 40 years,” Sheridan declared. He also described Costner as an incredible storyteller as a director, as a writer, as an actor. “So when you have that kind of tool in your toolbox, you can write him into some really conflicting situations.”

The Yellowstone creator also explained that he doesn’t actually like his good guys to be all that good. “And I don’t like my bad guys to be all that ad. Even though they may do really bad things. And I think that makes them relatable. 

Costner then shared that his Yellowstone character was pretty much a “black-and-white” guy for a long, long time. “There’s a phase in my career where I will be playing characters that either have a collective wisdom or made so many mistakes. Collective f— ups.”

Costner goes on to add that he believes that everyone understands what it’s like to want to please a father and to have a patriarch who’s really demanding. “You’re reading with five or six generations that have run that ranch, and never has it been under that pressure of children who’ve been making mistakes out there. Largely because they don’t have a mother that didn’t help guide the situation. And the forces that are pressing on issues of the land.”