Yellowstone Season 4 Premiere Draws Game of Thrones-Like Numbers

HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+ are in the midst of a bloody battle to find the successor to Game of Thrones' reign as the No. 1 show. Yet the answer could belong to  Paramount Network.

On Sunday, Yellowstone's fourth season debuted to 8 million total viewers in the Live+Same Day category, a 104% increase from the season 3 premiere one year ago (4.2 million), making it the highest-rated cable series telecast since a 2018 episode of AMC's The Walking Dead.

Yellowstone's return equaled notable episodes from Game of Thrones, which aired on the premium network HBO. For comparison, GoT's season 4 opener averaged 6.6 million viewers.

Moreover, Yellowstone drew 2 million adults between the ages of 18-49 viewers and 2.9 million among adults 25-54, both of which were the largest L+SD demo viewerships for an entertainment telecast on any network — broadcast or cable — in 2021.

Next, Paramount will go all-in Yellowstone by expanding the series' universe, with two upcoming prequels, 1883 and 6666. Additionally, Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan will launch the Mayor of Kingstown drama series on the network later this month.

Though unlikely to ever match GoT's mass appeal, Yellowstone could grow into the most popular current series on television or a streaming service. Other candidates include Stranger Things, The Mandalorian, The Witcher, and, presumably, House of the Dragon after it debuts in 2022.

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Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.