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Yellowstone Prequel 1883 Just Smashed A Huge Streaming Record

The "Yellowstone" prequel series "1883" experienced a more than successful start when it premiered on December 19, reportedly pulling in huge numbers both on the streaming platform Paramount+, and during a special cable broadcast. Like its predecessor, the series revolves around the Duttons, a family of ranchers in the American West. The only difference is that "1883" delves into the lives of the Dutton's ancestors as they travel across the frontier to establish their ranching empire in Montana. It's a tale that discusses Western Expansion and examines the trials and tribulations of 19th-century America.

Like "Yellowstone," "1883" was also created by Taylor Sheridan. It stars Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Billy Bob Thornton, and more as the aforementioned Dutton family and their associated companions. Though the series doesn't boast Kevin Costner as its headlining star, that hasn't stopped it from outperforming "Yellowstone" in a few categories. In fact, "1883" performed so well that the "Yellowstone" prequel smashed a huge streaming record for Paramount.

1883 is now Paramount's most-watched original premiere

According to Deadline, the "1883" premiere made Paramount+ history by becoming the platform's most-watched original premiere. Though Viacom CBS, which owns Paramount+, provided no statistics to back up this announcement, Deadline does point out some numbers that give the company's claim some credence.

In addition to its premiere on the streaming service Paramount+, the first episode of "1883" also had a special cable airing after Sunday's new episode of "Yellowstone." That episode pulled in an impressive 4.9 million viewers, which means it bested even its parent series to become the most-watched cable premiere episode since 2015, according to Deadline. Furthermore, when factoring in encore presentations and a simulcast on CMT, the episode had a total viewership of 6.4 million on Sunday. 

Only time will tell how "1883" fares once it begins airing exclusively on Paramount+, but if those early numbers are any indication, then it looks like series creator Taylor Sheridan has another hit on his hands.