The latest viewership win for proves that Kevin Costner has chosen to leave the cast of the Paramount show at the worst possible time. is one of the most popular shows on the Paramount Network, keeping the studio’s TV arm afloat with its widely adored flagship series and various spin-off shows. The series revolves around the Dutton family’s attempts to protect their cattle ranch from sinister land developers, while they all deal with their own personal problems. Costner leads the ensemble cast with his turn as John Dutton III, but his tenure on the show is about to come to an end.
Costner has dropped out of starring into focus on directing , a series of epic western movies that’s planned to span at least four installments. But his departure from the series couldn’t have come at a worse time, because Paramount’s latest effort to expand the fan base has been a resounding success. To attract new viewers, Paramount aired the pilot episode on CBS. A whopping on CBS, and 3.3 million of those viewers – half the total number of viewers – had never seen the show before.
It’s become a common practice for media conglomerates to air episodes of their most popular streaming shows on their traditional TV networks in an attempt to attract new subscribers. Disney aired the first two episodes of its critically acclaimedseries on ABC, FX, Freeform, and Hulu during the Thanksgiving holiday of 2022. Paramount’s airing of the first episode of on CBS managed to bring the series to the attention of 3.3 million viewers. Even if they don’t all tune in for more, a good chunk of them will undoubtedly be hooked.
But since Costner is about to leave the cast and end the series, there’s only another half a season left for Paramount to capitalize on the show’s new fans. Going to one of the “Big Three” networks has racked up a whole new audience for . The series targets an older demographic, and older people are the only ones who still watch live television, so airingon CBS to attract viewers from that demographic was an ingenious move. But the studio should’ve done it a couple of years ago, because Costner’s exit is about to kill the show.
While itself will only benefit from these new CBS viewers in the second half of its final season, the expanding fandom is great news for the upcoming spin-offs. has already been spun off into the wildly successful prequel shows and , which dug deeper into the history of the Dutton family. Paramount has three more spin-offs in development: , about the Four Sixes Ranch seen in seasons 4 and 5; , another prequel; and an untitled sequel series set after ’s final season. If itself can’t benefit from the new bump in viewership, the spin-offs can.