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As television audience viewing patterns have been upended during the past few years, Hollywood has adapted some new conventional wisdom when it comes to the state of TV: Linear hits don’t exist anymore, especially on basic cable. Series don’t grow their audiences several seasons in. It’s no longer possible to make shows that appeal to both the heartland and the coasts. And nothing beats the NFL in the ratings.
Then again, as Taylor Sheridan noted to Adweek earlier this year, “That’s why I’m not in Hollywood!” His outsider status (he’s lived in Texas for the past decade) emboldened Sheridan, Adweek’s TV Creator of the Year, to co-create Yellowstone—the Paramount Network drama that stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the patriarch of a family that controls the country’s largest contiguous ranch—and turn it into TV’s biggest hit, and hottest franchise, of the past year.