Five years after its television debut, the hit series “Yellowstone” returned to the small screen this past weekend.
The pilot, which originally aired on Paramount Network in June 2018, started its second broadcast run on CBS with 6.6 million viewers tuning into the first episode on Sept. 17, according to NextTV.
The episode’s views largely benefited from the 56th premiere of “60 Minutes,” which aired an exclusive interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The prime-time news show brought in 11.4 million viewers before “Yellowstone” came on.
The latter’s 6.6 million views is pretty good, considering the same episode attracted 2.8 million viewers when the show first premiered. But that was before people knew about the series and what showrunner Taylor Sheridan had to offer in his storytelling.
Now, it seems, audiences can’t get enough of it. Neither can Paramount.
The entertainment conglomerate moved the modern-day Western to CBS’s Sunday-evening time slot to account for the looming television dry spell initiated by the ongoing Hollywood strike. As a result of very few projects getting written and produced, the fall TV season is looking sparse.
With their revamped schedules, broadcasting networks are relying heavily on reruns and unscripted programs that are not affected by the strike. The latter category includes game shows, reality TV and live sports for audience’s entertainment, Axios reported in July.
Starting in May, the Writers Guild of America screenwriters went on strike to demand better pay and working conditions from studios and streamers. Actors in the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have since done the same, walking out of their jobs in July.
The strike is still ongoing, as neither studio executives nor Hollywood creatives have come to an agreement yet. However, one is in the process of being finalized.
Do you watch “Yellowstone”?
Despite the lack of TV content, Paramount isn’t stressing out too much this fall, considering the company has 46 more episodes of “Yellowstone” reruns up its sleeve.
The plan is to air two episodes every Sunday from 8-10 p.m. ET on the CBS channel, starting Sept. 24. If the network sticks to that schedule, the broadcast reruns will last through the end of February 2024.
“Yellowstone” still has yet to finish its fifth season, the second half of which will likely be released next year, after the strike is over. Filming on the show’s final season has been put on hold until then.
Written by Sheridan, “Yellowstone” follows John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his family protecting their Montana ranch from outside influences.
The long-form drama series has been praised by critics and audiences alike, particularly for its nonpartisan politics that both liberals and conservatives can get behind.
If you haven’t seen the show yet and want to see what all the hype is about, tune in to CBS this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time for the second and third episodes.
Subsequent episodes reruns will air in the same time slot for the next five months.