Although “yellow stone“is now in its fifth and final season supreme networkThe premiere of his series just hit free-to-air television for the first time, attracting 6.6 million viewers to C.B.S. Sunday night.

This marks a substantial jump from the episode’s 2.8 million viewers when it first premiered in 2018, although that was to be expected as CBS reaches a larger audience than its sister cable networks, and has since “Yellowstone” has become a huge hit. For a more recent comparison, Paramount Network’s broadcast of the fifth season premiere in November drew 8.8 million viewers, and simulcasts on Country Music Television, TVLand and Pop TV brought that number to 10 .5 million.

Sunday’s “Yellowstone” episode also benefited from the introduction of “60 Minutes,” which aired just before and drew 11.4 million viewers. The series will continue to air in order, with two episodes per week, except on NFL doubleheader nights, when only one episode will air.

CBS is streaming “Yellowstone” and other titles within the Paramount ecosystem as a way to complete your fall slate amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. For “Yellowstone” in particular, the move makes sense: Variety Television critic Aramide Tinubu wrote that the series’ “new streaming home is precisely where the massive, wildly entertaining epic should have been from the beginning.”

“Yellowstone” was the first Taylor Sheridan-Series created for Paramount Global, but has since become a complete universe. The prequel series “1883” premiered on Paramount+ in 2022, as did the prequel series “1923,” which will return for a second season. “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” will premiere on Paramount+ in November as a spin-off of “1883,” while “6666” heads to the Paramount Network. “1944” is in development as a sequel to “1923” and another untitled spin-off is also in the works.