CBS is now halfway through its airing of the first season of Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone,” and an average 4.4 million viewers tuned in to catch the fourth episode of Season 1 on Sunday. Episode 5 aired directly afterwards and reached just under 4 million million viewers.
Last week, the network’s broadcast of “Yellowstone” opened with 5 million viewers for Episode 2, and closed with 4.5 million — meaning Sunday’s episode were down 11.5% and 11.9% from last week, respectively. (These averages are based on Live + Same Day data from Nielsen.)
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Still, these are solid numbers for repeat programming. The episodes airing on CBS this fall are five years old, as “Yellowsone” premiered on Paramount Network in 2018 and is now on its fifth season, but is making its broadcast debut now as linear networks have all had their scripted slates impacted by the recently-ended WGA strike and the still-ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
Additionally, it’s presumable that some of the viewers dropping off of “Yellowstone” week-to-week are still watching the series, just on a different platform. 50% of the 6.6 million viewers who watched the first episode on CBS on Sept. 17 had never seen the show before. Upon discovering it, some viewers likely turned to Peacock, the NBCUniversal-owned streamer that holds its exclusive streaming rights. (Paramount Global sold the rights to its rival NBCU in 2018, before its own streamer, Paramount+, was launched.) As exclusively reported by Variety, “Yellowstone” viewership on Peacock between Sept. 17 and Sept. 27 was up 26% from the previous 10-day period, implying that the new viewers were attracted by CBS broadcast — and potentially also by the ads NBCU ran during CBS’ Sept. 24 broadcast of “Yellowstone” trying to entice viewers to its platform instead.
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