Yellowstone is finally airing on Channel 5, but despite being the most popular show in the United States, it has little chance of becoming popular in the United Kingdom.
Yellowstone is now airing on Channel 5, but despite being the most popular show in the United States, it is unlikely to be successful in the United Kingdom. An astonishing 15.7 million viewers came in to watch the launch of Yellowstone’s fifth season. It is incomprehensible that there has been no discernible cultural impact in the UK.
Which television program had the highest number of viewers in the United States in the year 2022? It wasn’t the critically praised restaurant drama The Bear, the last season of Better Call Saul, or the eagerly anticipated spin-off of Game of Thrones called House of the Dragon. It was Yellowstone, John Linson, and Taylor Sheridan’s modern Western about a family of cattle ranchers, which brought in an astounding 15.7 million viewers for the launch of its fifth season in November. What do you mean by saying that you haven’t heard of it before?
The series, which stars Kevin Costner as the patriarch John Dutton III and is set in Montana among the plains of Yellowstone National Park, chronicles the highs and lows of ranch life in that state. Throughout the course of the show’s five seasons, the Duttons are forced to contend with land disputes, family strife, politics (both little and capital “P”), and run-ins with the nearby Broken Rock Indian tribe. It is a dynastic, gorgeous-looking drama that manages to keep a loyal fanbase despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and a surprisingly empty trophy cupboard – it has only won one Golden Globe, earlier this year for Costner, and it has never even been nominated for an Emmy.
Piper Perabo plays Summer Higgins, while Kevin Costner is John Dutton in this movie.
Because there is such a strong demand for the show in the United States, there will be other spin-offs. Two prequels, titled 1883 and 1923, have already been broadcast, and another, titled 1944, will soon be broadcast. Already in the works are two additional strands of the story: 6666 and another that has not yet been given a name. Even one of the spin-offs has produced another spin-off of its own.
These are not some frivolous offshoots to be thrown aside, either: The shows are led by Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, and Sam Elliott, and David Oyelowo and Dennis Quaid have been cast in recurring roles for additional seasons. It has been speculated that Matthew McConaughey will take up the lead role in Yellowstone after Kevin Costner leaves the show at the conclusion of its fifth season.
Star power, however, was what drew our attention to American shows such as True Detective, Fargo, and Mare of Easttown; nevertheless, it has not been successful in drawing our attention to Yellowstone in our country. The viewership numbers for Paramount+ are not made public, but it is incomprehensible that the channel has had little cultural impact in the UK in comparison to the United States.
The most straightforward reason for this is that, up until relatively recently, it was not easily accessible to us. Yellowstone did not become accessible to viewers in the UK until the summer of 2018 when the streaming service Paramount+ went live. The series had its world premiere in the United States in 2018.
When Costner attempted to sell the series to British channels four years ago, the channels showed no interest in the series, according to Costner’s comments. He was warned by executives that “We’re not sure we want to see this,” and they expressed concern that the show would not attract a crowd. Now, as a result of a merger that will take place in 2019 between the company that owns Channel 5 (Viacom) and CBS (which is controlled by Paramount), Yellowstone will have its chance to air on terrestrial television for the very first time. The premiere of the pilot episode will take place at 9 o’clock tonight (Friday, July 21).
There is yet a chance that Yellowstone can be saved. The first season of Breaking Bad aired on Sky FX in 2008, the same year the show debuted in the United States. The show then moved to Channel 5 for the following two seasons before being canceled. It wasn’t until several years later when Walter White made his appearance on Netflix, that the show, which is now a megahit, became so popular all over the world. But that doesn’t seem realistic to me — Paramount+ does not have the same influence (or subscriber numbers) as Netflix, and whether or not it will grab the imagination of those people who do tune in is another question entirely.
Yellowstone has been called a “red state drama” by some commentators, which suggests that its narratives and themes of freedom and desire for yesteryear appeal to Republican voters (during the 2020 Presidential election, Montana voted for Donald Trump by a 16.4 percentage point majority). In point of fact, its traditional values of faith, the family unit, and safeguarding one’s own distinguish it from other countries in a country where the majority of television is geared toward liberal Hollywood executives and metropolitan New York financiers. The heart of America has been captivated by Yellowstone.
Sheridan, who authored films such as Sicario and the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water and produced the crime series Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone, does not agree with the moniker “Red state drama,” which has been applied to the show that he co-created.
“I just sit back laughing. He stated this in an interview with The Atlantic: “I’m like, ‘Really?'” “The show discusses the forced relocation of Native Americans as well as the treatment of Native American women, as well as the greed of corporations, the gentrification of the West, and the theft of land. That’s a show for the red states? However, the positioning of the gun-wielding Duttons as heroes and vanguards of the Old West isn’t as personally relatable or recognizable a past in the United Kingdom as it would be in certain sections of the United States.
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In Succession, which is one of the most talked-about (but not one of the most viewed) programs on our shores in recent memory, critics frequently link Kevin Costner’s performance as Dutton to that of Brian Cox’s performance as Logan Roy. Dutton makes the proclamation, “I am the antithesis of progress.” “I am the wall that it bashes against, and I will not be the one who breaks.” It is not difficult to see the same grandiosity emanating from the Waystar-Royco billionaire because both of them are grumpy older men who feel threatened by modernity and are strong in their commitment to traditional values.
The main distinction is that Jesse Armstrong’s drama infused his series with sarcasm and humor typical of British culture. Through the Roy family, the British were able to poke fun at the concept of the American Dream. In point of fact, the majority of American television shows that have become popular in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world adhere to this pattern. Shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men all function as a commentary on the impossibility of the American Dream, calling into question the notion that the pursuit of success (which invariably equates to the accumulation of wealth) will result in happiness.
But Yellowstone is sincere and respectful toward the goals that its protagonists have set for themselves. The Duttons’ America is not one that is cynical about the land of the free and the home of the brave; the Dream is something that is pristine and wonderful to aspire to. Out in the west, very far away from here, it is not anything to make light of.
On Friday, July 21 from 9 o’clock, you may watch Yellowstone on Channel 5. It is available to watch in its entirety on Paramount+.