“Lawmen: Bass Reeves” has set a new record as Paramount+’s most watched global series premiere of the year. Episodes one and two, which the series debuted with, have been seen by an average global audience of more than 7.5 million for the first seven days across Paramount+ and its broadcast sampling run on CBS.
The series follows the journey of Reeves (David Oyelowo) and his rise from enslavement to law enforcement as the first Black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi. Despite arresting over 3,000 outlaws during the course of his career, the weight of the badge was heavy, and he wrestled with its moral and spiritual cost to his beloved family.
“Our goal at Yoruba Saxon is simple, to normalize the marginalized for a global audience,” Oyelowo, executive producer and star, said in a statement. “The international embrace of ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ shows that borders are no boundary to a fresh perspective on a great story.”
“We’re so thrilled with the response this series has garnered from viewers around the globe,” Domenic DiMeglio, EVP and chief marketing officer, Paramount Streaming, said in a statement. “The incredible story of Bass Reeves was not widely known and thanks to David’s passionate efforts to bring this story to life, audiences are now learning more about the fascinating and inspiring man that was Bass Reeves and his contributions to history.”
“Bass Reeves is an American hero and the first Black U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River; we are honored to amplify his powerful story based on the creative vision of David Oyelowo, Chad Feehan and our brilliant partner Taylor Sheridan,” Chris McCarthy, president/CEO, Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios, said in a statement. “The record setting performance of ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ catapulted it into the top five most streamed shows in the U.S. and is just another proof point of how our unique multi-platform approach continues to be a competitive advantage,”
The original drama premiered exclusively on Paramount+ with two episodes on Nov. 5 in the United States and all Paramount+ international markets.
CBS broadcast aired a special sampling of the first two episodes on Nov. 12 following an episode of “Yellowstone.”
The remaining six episodes are rolling out weekly on Sundays exclusively on Paramount+, with the finale streaming Dec. 17.
The cast also includes Shea Whigham and Garrett Hedlund as guest stars, and, in recurring roles, Joaquina Kalukango, Lonnie Chavis, Tosin Morohunfola, Dale Dickey, Rob Morgan, Ryan O’Nan, Margot Bingham, Mo Brings Plenty, Justin Hurtt-Dunkley and Bill Dawes.
Created for television by executive producer and showrunner Chad Feehan, the series also is executive produced by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan, Oyelowo, David C. Glasser, Jessica Oyelowo, David Permut, Christina Alexandra Voros, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari and David Hutkin. The series is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios, 101 Studios, Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions and Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon, and is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution outside of Paramount+ international markets.