‘Yellowstone’ TV: How Cole Hauser Felt When Show Initially Boomed With Popularity

by Jennifer Shea

When he’s considering a new project, “Yellowstone” star Cole Hauser doesn’t ask himself if it’s going to be popular. He asks himself if it’s going to be great.

In an interview last summer with Hey U Guys, Hauser said he didn’t accept the role of Rip Wheeler out of any premonition that “Yellowstone” would take off the way it has. Rather, he said, he felt Rip was a compelling character, and he knew there were some good people involved in making the show.

“Ultimately, I don’t think about those things,” Hauser said in response to a question about how the show had hit it big. “When you start a show, you know, whether it’s gonna be a big show or not, I mean, you know, the character resonated to me. I knew that there were great people involved, like Taylor Sheridan, to start with, who’s become a very dear friend. And John Linson, who created the show, who I’ve known for 20 years. Then you have, you know, Kevin Costner, which helps. And then there’s this tremendous cast.”

Hauser then proceeded to name-check many of the show’s lead actors.

‘Yellowstone’ Has Shattered Ratings Records

It may not matter to Hauser, but “Yellowstone” set new ratings records with its Season 3 premiere and Season 3 finale. Audiences have really gravitated toward Sheridan’s character-driven Western ensemble drama.

In fact, the “Yellowstone” Season 3 finale brought in 5.2 million total viewers, which was 1 million more than any other episode in “Yellowstone” history. And that made it the top most-watched cable telecast of the year.

Moreover, the most recent season of “Yellowstone” was huge on social media. On Facebook, for example, Season 3 was No. 1 on views and engagements for all drama programs across the TV universe.

Hauser Knew Series Was ‘Something Special’

Speaking to Hey U Guys, Hauser reiterated that what drew him to “Yellowstone” was the mix of creative elements there. And given that, he said it makes sense that the show has resonated so strongly with audiences.

“So you look at the big kind of picture and structure, and you go, ‘This has a chance to be something special,’” Hauser explained. “And you know, now we’re starting year four. I’m not that surprised [that the show is so big]. People are doing amazing work. And Taylor’s writing fantastic characters. And I think it’s fresh and new as far as the topography.”

As Hauser knows well, Montana is a big part of “Yellowstone” – in fact, some have even called it another character. The sweeping beauty of the backdrop is integral to the show’s appeal, with some fans saying watching it is like taking a mini-vacation.

Add to that the “very relevant subject matter” that Sheridan tackles in each episode – be it violence against Native women, conservation issues, the rodeo lifestyle or transplanted developers – and you’ve got the ingredients for a gripping TV series. If it happens to break ratings records, too, so be it.

Watch Hauser’s interview here: