'Yellowstone' Scores Series-High Ratings for Season 2 Premiere

The season two premiere of Yellowstone delivered some of the show's best ratings ever.

The Paramount Network drama drew 2.41 million viewers on Wednesday, the show's second-largest audience ever behind the series premiere (2.83 million). Replays on Paramount and fellow Viacom channel TV Land and a simulcast on CMT pushed the total for the night to 3.9 million. 

The season two premiere also hit series highs in Paramount's core demographics of adults 25-54 (0.67 national rating, tying the previuos best) and adults 18-49 (0.45), with the latter growing by double digits over the series debut.

The numbers for Wednesday's premiere will get substantially larger in the coming days with delayed and digital viewing. Season one averaged 5 million viewers per episode across all platforms.

The modern-day Western from Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water) and John Linson centers on the Dutton family and its efforts to protect their sprawling, generations-old ranch from land developers and other outside forces, often by any means necessary. Paramount Network gave the show an early season three renewal prior to Wednesday's premiere. 

Kevin Costner, playing his first regular role on a TV series, heads the cast. Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser and Kelsey Asbille also star. Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, Costner, David C. Glasser and Bob Yari are the executive producers.

Sheridan also has an unscripted series, The Last Cowboy, set to premiere on Paramount Network in July.

The continued strong showing for Yellowstone helps provide some stability for Paramount Network as the rest of its scripted roster is in flux. The cabler currently has no other scripted originals set to air this year, as Darren Star's Emily in Paris is due in 2020 (later than its initially announced summer 2019 date) and Younger remained at TV Land rather than moving to Paramount Network for its sixth season.

The network also has the MASH-esque dramedy 68 Whiskey and the detective drama Paradise Lost (formerly Heaven of Hell) on tap, the latter of which will have a first run on Charter Communications' Spectrum platform before debuting on Paramount Network. The cabler is also developing a drama called Coyote from executive producers Michael Chiklis (who will also star) and Michelle MacLaren.