Saturday, June 15, 2024

“Yellowstone” Dropped By 3 Million Viewers on Second Sunday CBS Outing, But Fans Got to See A Character Smoking (An FCC No No)


The “Yellowstone” CBS experiment is falling apart.

On Sunday night, the Kevin Costner series got 4.3 million viewers for its first season rerun run on the Tiffany network.

Last week, the premiere of “Yellowstone” got about 7.5 viewers during its first hour, and a little less during the second for an average of 8.2 million.

Last May, the final episode of season 5, part 1 had over 8 million viewers on the Paramount Network.

Of course, “Yellowstone” season 1 has been available forever on DVD and streaming. In fact, last night Peacock ran two commercials during the show inviting fans to come watch it without commercials.

Last night fans also got to see something that’s an FCC no-no on broadcast TV: smoking. Beth Dutton, the hardcore central character played so brilliantly by Kelly Reilly, was puffing away without abandon. Her brother (Wes Bentley) mentioned cancer, but she wasn’t having it. Cigarette commercials were banned by the FCC 5 decades ago for the major networks. Characters smoking on screen is rarer than rare. “Mad Men” had it but they were on cable. “Mrs. Maisel” was on Amazon.

But CBS? No, no, no.

“Yellowstone” is also full of almost R rated stuff sexually. It’s way more than a broadcast show would ever be allowed by CBS on a Sunday night. The smoking, the sex — CBS is stuck with it until new primetime shows are trotted out after the SAG and WGA strikes. This “Yellowstone” experiment was out of necessity.

I guess “Yellowstone” fans know all about Beth and her smoking. Someone put together a compilation of her best moments.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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