'Yellowstone' Dominated Summer Ratings as Most-Watched Cable Series

The Paramount Networks's new series Yellowstone dominated TV ratings this year, coming in as the most-watched cable series of the summer.

According to a press release from the network, the Kevin Costner-led series was also the "most watched new scripted drama on ad-supported cable since 2016." Additionally, the season one finale was "the most watched episode in ad-supported cable since April."

Yellowstone was created by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Wind River)tells the story of the Dutton family, who run the largest contiguous cattle ranch in America. "Business as usual" for the Dutton's, however, includes mysterious murders, betrayed partnerships, and pain-filled pasts.

While Costner is the top-billed star, Yellowstone also features Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Danny Huston, Kelly Reilly, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, and Gil Birmingham.

In an interview with the New York Times earlier in 2018, Coster spoke about the series and his familiarity with ranching prior to taking the role.

"It’s a time-honored thing, people making a living on horseback moving cattle. But in terms of how that trade is plied today, the world that Taylor was drawing was something very new to me," Costner revealed. "It’s like going to see Cirque du Soleil versus the old circus. There’s still the clowns, the jugglers, the almost freakish things. It’s held onto its carnival roots. They just reinvented it."

Regarding his character on the show, John Dutton, Costner had some thoughts on why he is compared to "an Old West land baron."

"He’s a modern-day C.E.O., if you will, probably more than any of the generations before him," Costner explained, "simply because he’s had to arbitrate so many problems with lawyers and encroachment and white-collar people coming after his land."

"The urbanization and environmental protection that are threatening his ranch are much different than [what faced] his predecessors, where they basically took the land and were stubborn enough, maybe vicious enough, to hold onto it," he went on to say. "Characters that took up legendary status in the West were very capable of making really hard decisions that were probably questioned by people — but not for very long."

Finally, Costner also confessed that, while he has done a lot of them, he doesn't really like "most westerns."

"But there [are] six or seven that really marked me because they somehow got under the skin," he added. "You didn’t know the type of individuals you were running into on the trail, if they’re in need of water, in need of food, a psychopath."

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"When those situations are drawn carefully — and most of the time they’re not, because people got used to the idea of black hat, white hat, a bad guy for a good guy to knock down — a real dilemma sets itself up for very heightened drama," Costner also said. "I think westerns are working their very best when we see a certain incident and go, 'God, I wonder if I would have made it.' "

Season two of Yellowstone is currently in pre-production and will premiere sometime in the early part of 2019.