Yellowstone Season 2 Crushed Its Season 1 Ratings To Become #1 Summer TV Show

yellowstone paramount network season 2 kevin costner john dutton
(Image credit: Paramount)
(Image credit: Paramount)

The second season of Yellowstone came to an end with an intense finale that featured some big deaths, a rescue, and much more to set the stage for a very different third season. As it turns out, a whole lot of people tuned in to watch the Season 2 finale, just as they'd been turning out in droves to tune in throughout Season 2. Now the numbers are in to prove that Yellowstone crushed its already-impressive Season 1 ratings and earned the status the #1 summer show on cable TV.

Let's start with the figures for the Season 2 finale. That episode averaged 5.7 million viewers in Live+3 Day viewing, which was a boost of 14% above the average for Season 2 and made it the top cable telecast for the night of August 28. In total viewers, the last episode of Season 2 was the strongest episode of the entire series. Yellowstone averaged 5.1 million viewers per episode throughout Season 2.

So, how do the excellent numbers for the finale and Season 2 as a whole stack up against Season 1? Well, Yellowstone finished its second season up double digits in all demographics compared to the first season in Live+3 calculations. This includes the all-important 18-49 demographic for both men and woman, as well as the key 25-54 demographic. The 5.1 million per episode average for total viewers means Yellowstone can boast a 14% bump from the same category in the first season.

And if that's not enough, Yellowstone grew in triple digits from Season 1 to Season 2 in another category! With 66 million views across digital platforms, Yellowstone is up a whopping 145% from Season 1. Now that Season 2 is over, it officially ranks as the top summer series across all cable TV among total viewers, the #1 scripted series in the key 18-49 and 25-54 demographics, and the #1 cable series in total viewers.

So, Paramount has a lot to be excited about heading into Yellowstone Season 3! The show scored a renewal long before the Season 2 finale, so fans didn't have to go into the episode wondering if it would be the last. Production on Season 3 is actually in full swing, and Paramount pleasantly surprised viewers by airing a sneak peek at the third season right after the end of the Season 2 finale.

The footage revealed a big kiss and some new characters, including the one played by a Lost veteran. Will the new season allow for more between Monica and Beth? Even though Season 2 didn't exactly end on a life-or-death cliffhanger, there are some big questions that need to be answered.

Two of the toughest and most taciturn guys on the show were in tears before the final credits rolled on the finale, Rip due to the touching surprise of John calling him one of his sons and John due to the emotional overload of the fight to get Tate back. As for the youngest Dutton, Tate escaped his ordeal seemingly without any physical changes except for having his head shaved, but the emotional trauma undoubtedly goes pretty deep.

Yellowstone Season 3 will run for ten episodes when it premieres on Paramount Network in 2020. For some viewing options sooner rather than later, check out our 2019 fall TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.