There was rending of garments, murder of a popular character and many declarations on Sunday night’s episode of “Yellowstone.”
There were also a lot of viewers. The season 4 finale of Kevin Costner’s horse opera drew over 10 million viewers on cable. The Paramount Channel grabbed 9.3 million, and Country Music Television lured in another 960,000.
No other program on Sunday night on cable or broadcast TV came close to those numbers except for NFL football. “NCIS: Los Angeles” on CBS only had 5.5 million viewers, by comparison.
But “Yellowstone” is no “Dallas.” Costner’s show only has 10 episodes per season, less than half of what typical network series had back in the day. And the season itself is undefined. We may not see “Yellowstone” Season 5 until next fall or winter at the earliest.
Nature abhors a vacuum. If I were the Paramount channel, I’d rerun all of “Dallas” and “Knots Landing” right now to fill the void. The time is right even to reboot the latter (the former has already had its chance).
Meantime, “Yellowstone” has two spin offs already running with “1883” and “Mayor of Kingstown,” and more coming. It’s a whole business now for Costner and creator Taylor Sheridan.