‘Yellowstone’ CBS Premiere Scores 6.83 Million Viewers

The debut marks the largest audience for a scripted series since the “NCIS” series finale in May

Kevin Costner in "Yellowstone" (Credit: Paramount)

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The CBS premiere of the Paramount Network hit “Yellowstone” drew in 6.83 million viewers, making it the most-watched entertainment program of the week, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day figures.

As viewers tuned in to the Taylor Sheridan-created series on Sunday evening, which ran from approximately 8:50 to 10:49 p.m. ET, the “Yellowstone” debut also averaged a 0.67 rating in the key broadcast demographic among adults 18-49. The premiere also scored the largest audience for a scripted series since the “NCIS” series finale in May.

The finalized figures build on early data that did not include out-of-home viewing, which initially saw the program drawing in 6.56 million viewers and receiving a 0.9 rating among adults 25-54.

The CBS premiere was also up 141% in total viewers when compared to the drama’s Season 1 premiere on Paramount Network, which debuted to an audience of 2.83 million viewers in 2018.

Viewership for the series on CBS also significantly exceeded internal estimates for the premiere, according to an individual with knowledge, with additional viewing growth expected due to limited prior viewership of “Yellowstone” among CBS audiences.

The “Yellowstone” debut followed the season premiere of “60 Minutes” on CBS, which averaged 11.80 million viewers and a 1.73 rating among adults 18-49 during its 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. airing, according to final Nielsen data, making it the most-watched non-sports program of the night.

Early figures for the “60 Minutes” premiere saw the debut bringing in 11.37 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 25-54, which exceeded viewership for last year’s Sept. 18 premiere of “60 Minutes,” which also excludes out-of-home viewing, as this Sunday’s premiere was up 19% in total viewers, and up 3% among adults 25-54.

After the premiere of “Yellowstone,” the Sunday episode of “Big Brother” on CBS scored 2.78 million viewers and drew in a 0.49 rating among adults 18-49. 

Note: This article has been updated to include final Sunday night Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings.