The anticipation for Yellowstone Season 4 was through the roof.
After a string of wild cliffhangers, viewers were waiting with bated breaths to find out what happened to the Duttons next.
In today's TV climate, the numbers are almost unheard of, propelling the series to the most-watched cable series telecast in 4 years.
What's more, the two-episode extravaganza doubled the live audience of Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 1 (4.2 million viewers).
Even more impressive, it is the most-watched cable series telecast since The Walking Dead that aired in 2018.
Among adults 18-49, Yellowstone scooped up a mammoth 3.26 rating, up 82% from last year's season opener.
The show had 2 million viewers in the 18-49 demo and 2.9 million viewers among adults 25-54, the biggest numbers for a cable show in 2021. according to Paramount Network.
"Taylor has created a riveting world that our remarkable cast led by Kevin Costner brings to life in a way audiences can't get enough of," Chris McCarthy, the president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group, said in a statement.
"The Yellowstone season four premiere numbers are just another reason why we are thrilled to deepen our relationship with Taylor and capitalize on this tremendous momentum by building out the Yellowstone franchise together."
To put those numbers in perspective, the highest-rated scripted show in the demo on the broadcast networks this season are:
ABC - Grey's Anatomy - 0.66 rating
CBS - The Equalizer - 0.69 rating
NBC - Chicago Fire - 0.81 rating
FOX - The Simpsons - 0.87 rating
Yellowstone's 3.26 rating makes it a monster hit. Even if the show drops 80%, it would still be seen as a huge hit on TV in 2021.
The Kevin Costner-starrer is setting a new bar for success, and when the delayed viewing numbers come out, it will be even bigger.
It makes sense then that two spinoffs are on the way.
1883 will air exclusively on Paramount+ from December 19, while 6666 is in development.
What are your thoughts on the numbers?
Hit the comments below.
Remember you can watch Yellowstone online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.