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Kevin Costner’s non-woke show Yellowstone was most watched show or movie last week


Kevin Costner’s ‘non-woke’ Yellowstone was the most watched show or movie in America last week with more than 8 million people tuning in to the season four premier last Sunday.  

The runaway popularity of the 1883 period ranch show, streaming on Paramount put it over heavyweight favorites like 60 Minutes and NCIS Los Angeles, which had 7.5 million and 5.3 million views, respectively. 

The premier also ranked in second place in Digital Entertainment Group’s Top 20 streamed movies or shows last week, losing out to the film Free Guy, while previous Yellowstone seasons also placed at the 11th and 19th spots.  

Although Yellowstone is often compared to HBO’s Succession – they came out the same year and are both family-business dramas – it breaks the mold for hit series as it’s based not on the East or West coasts, but in Montana. It is shot in Utah.

And unlike shows like Succession that play up current drama in the Big Apple or Los Angeles, Yellowstone avoids modern-day issues and political correctness conflicts, and instead puts a lens on rural, 1880s America where local businesses are losing wealth and power in a changing nation. 

Kevin Costner plays John Dutton in the hit show Yellowstone, which became the most watched show in America last Sunday

Yellowstone garnered more than 8 million viewers last week with its season four premier

Yellowstone garnered more than 8 million viewers last week with its season four premier

Yellowstone is set in 1883 as ranchers try to conquer the West and set up their fortunes

Yellowstone is set in 1883 as ranchers try to conquer the West and set up their fortunes

The show beat out its contemporary, Succession, whose third season premiered last month

The show beat out its contemporary, Succession, whose third season premiered last month

The show premiered in 2018, and although it had respectable ratings, it’s season three premier last year drew only about half – 4.23 million viewer – of the current season’s viewership. 

Yellowstone focuses on Costner’s John Dutton, a landowning rancher in Montana overseeing his wealth and family, a setting rarely seen among modern top-rated shows.   

Emily VanDerWerff, a TV critic for Vox, ultimately credits Yellowstone’s success on its ability to tap into middle America and portray a different kind of fantasy. 

‘Yellowstone takes a kind of comfort in the leisurely pleasures of a world where everything is as it should be. ‘This is fine,’ it says, as the evening sun spreads red fire in the west. ‘

The show has received praise for its portrayal of Middle America. Pictured, Kelsey Chow, left, and Kevin Costner as Monica and John Dutton

The show has received praise for its portrayal of Middle America. Pictured, Kelsey Chow, left, and Kevin Costner as Monica and John Dutton

The only political element in the show is the ongoing battles between the expanding white rangers and the dwindling Native Americans

The only political element in the show is the ongoing battles between the expanding white rangers and the dwindling Native Americans

Costner himself seems to be avoiding most politics as the once Reagan-era Republican turned Democrat is now an independent

Costner himself seems to be avoiding most politics as the once Reagan-era Republican turned Democrat is now an independent 

Top 20 films and TV shows streamed in the US last week

  1. Free Guy
  2. Yellowstone Season Four
  3. Old
  4. The Suicide Squad
  5. Don’t Breathe 2
  6. Paw Patrol: The Movie
  7. F9: The Fast Saga
  8. Snake Eyes
  9. Stillwater
  10. Space Jam: A New Legacy
  11. Yellowstone Season One
  12. The Protégé
  13. The Forever Purge
  14. The Grinch
  15. Scream
  16. Injustice
  17. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  18. Hocus Pocus
  19. Yellowstone Season Three
  20. Beetlejuice 

 Source: DEG

The most political the show ever gets is through its portrayal of interactions between the white ranchers and Indigenous Americans, as they fight for land ownership. 

Costner, also executive producer on the show, was once a Reagan-era Republican, then turned Democrat and announced last year that he has become an independent.

The actor told the Daily Beast that he now finds America’s two-party system ‘too limiting.’ 

‘The Democratic Party doesn’t represent anything that I think, and neither does the Republican Party right now — at all,’ Costner, 66, said. 

Despite appearing apolitical, Costner has been vocal about teaching more Americans the history of indigenous peoples, something that appears every now and again on Yellowstone. 

‘It’s not always a pretty picture but it’s so wonderful to understand it, and only in understanding it can you develop an empathy, and can understand that we wiped out over 500 [Native American] nations,’ Costner told the Daily Beast

‘These stories aren’t designed to embarrass or make you ashamed—they’re designed to make you aware.’

After Yellowstone’s double-episode premier, the show will continue this Sunday with episode three.  Seasons one through three also are streaming on Peacock. 



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