Giddy up: “Yellowstone” prequel “1883” just annihilated the Paramount+ record for most-watched original series ever. Sunday’s debut more than doubled the previous record, the ViacomCBS-owned streaming platform boasted in a press release on Tuesday.
The show’s premiere also nabbed an addition 4.9 million linear viewers when it aired with “Yellowstone” on the Paramount Network cable channel. That alone made “1883” the biggest new series premiere on cable since 2015.
“The results of ‘1883’s’ debut are truly phenomenal,” Tanya Giles, chief programming officer at ViacomCBS Streaming, said in a statement on Tuesday. “The Day 1 streaming numbers coupled with the results of the linear sampling effort, and social response from our audience show the tremendous promise for this series. We look forward to continuing on this epic journey with our subscribers.”
“The success of Taylor Sheridan’s ‘1883’ is another proof point of our unique model to leverage our linear platforms and franchise our biggest hits to supercharge Paramount+,” Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Media Networks, added. “We went big with ‘1883’ – the ‘Yellowstone’ prequel – and it delivered big and shattered all records – as both the No. 1 most watched original series premiere ever on Paramount+ and the biggest new cable premiere since 2015, with nearly five million viewers tuning into Paramount Network Sunday’s airing. Given the tremendous viewership on Paramount Network, I’m confident our strategy of sampling on the Paramount Network will drive awareness and viewers to Paramount+.”
“Getting this show out to audiences in 2021 was an epic undertaking,” David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios, said. “We were presented with an almost impossible set of circumstances but we achieved our goal in record-breaking fashion. That success is due to the dedication of the unbelievably gifted cast, crew, ViacomCBS and the passionate vision and leadership of Taylor Sheridan. 101 Studios could not be more proud to have worked alongside Taylor to shepherd ‘1883’ into the world.”
Created by Sheridan and produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, “1883” is the prequel to cable standout “Yellowstone.” This original series stars Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Billy Bob Thornton, Isabel May, LaMonica Garrett, Audie Rick, Marc Rissmann, Eric Nelsen and James Landry Hébert.
“1883” follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. It is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land – Montana.
Kevin Costner plays John Dutton on “Yellowstone. McGraw plays his great-grandfather James on “1883.”
“1883” is executive produced by Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, David Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari.