'Yellowstone' Finale Scores Series High Ratings

Yellowstone_The World is Purple-Publicity Still - H 2020

Sunday's episode caps a season of huge growth for the Paramount Network series.

Paramount Network's Yellowstone capped a third season marked by big ratings growth with its largest audience ever.

The Kevin Costner-led drama brought in 5.16 million viewers on Sunday — which is a record high for the show and also the most watched cable entertainment program of 2020. The finale easily beat the previous same-day record for the show, topping the 4.23 million for the season premiere in June by nearly a million viewers.

Yellowstone averaged about 3.9 million same-day viewers over its 10-episode season, a jump of 65 percent over its season two, and grew to 6.42 million with a week of delayed viewing. In both measures, it passed The Walking Dead as the most watched series on cable, excluding sports and news (The Walking Dead still holds the edge in the key ad demographic of adults 18-49).

Season three also improved by 66 percent in the 18-49 demo — averaging a 1.2 in the demo after a week of delayed viewing — and by 75 percent among adults 25-54. The growth is all the more impressive in a linear TV landscape where the vast majority of shows are suffering declines amid increased cord-cutting and the proliferation of streaming platforms.

Taylor Sheridan and John Linson created Yellowstone and executive produce with Art Linson, Costner, David C. Glasser, Bob Yari and Stephen Kay. The series is produced by 101 Studios.