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Paramount Network’s ‘Yellowstone’ Premiere Draws 4.8 Million Viewers

Kevin Costner drama lands biggest basic cable drama premiere since ”People v. O.J.“

The premiere of Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone” has pulled in nearly 5 million total viewers for the fledgling network, according to Nielsen.

The Kevin Costner-led drama was watched by 4.8 million viewers with three days of delayed viewing factored in, a 71 percent lift from the show’s same-day numbers. Among adults under 50, “Yellowstone” earned a solid 1.1 rating.

Those numbers make “Yellowstone” the most-watched ad-supported cable drama premiere in more than two years, since “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” debuted to 8.3 million viewers in February 2016. It is also the most-watched original series telecast in the history of both Paramount Network and its predecessor, Spike TV.

“Yellowstone,” a high-profile project from Oscar-nominee Taylor Sheridan, is the third original series to debut on Paramount Network. It follows the limited series “Waco” and the half-hour “American Woman.” The 10-episode adaptation of “Heathers” that was shelved after the Parkland shooting never made it to air.

Written and directed by Sheridan, “Yellowstone” follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States. Amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect – the ranch is in constant conflict with those it borders – an expanding town, an Indian reservation, and America’s first national park.

Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes and Dave Annable also star. Sheridan, Costner, John Linson, Art Linson, and David C. Glasser serve as executive producers. Ted Gold and Lauren Ruggiero are the executives in charge of production for Paramount Network.