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How CBS Censored Yellowstone's Most Explicit Swearing & Nudity

For writer and producer Taylor Sheridan, spin-offs have been a lucrative and narratively fulfilling way to expand the lore of the Dutton family, whose travails have inspired "1883," "1923," and more forthcoming series in the "Yellowstone" universe. In the case of the original series, simply airing it on CBS was another way to increase viewership.

The drama premiered on CBS, which is under the Paramount Global umbrella along with the Paramount Network, where "Yellowstone" airs, on September 17. But reintroducing a cable series on network TV isn't without its complications. While cable series are afforded a certain amount of laxity when it comes to violence and profanity, network shows must adhere to broadcast standards. In other words, "Yellowstone" had to tone things down a bit for CBS.

The swearing is easy enough to dial back via some editing. Plenty of Dutton family F-bombs have been muted from the CBS broadcast rather than replaced with voiceovers. Other replacements have to be more clever. CBS subs out "c***sucker" in favor of "son of a b****," though Beth's (Kelly Reilly) dialogue is a bit more challenging to tame. Her pejorative "soft f***" to an overly friendly barfly is changed to "snowflake."

Viewers don't mind the edits, the numbers say

In addition to coarse language, the CBS broadcast of "Yellowstone" has had to clean up some of the series' more sexually explicit scenes. While sex scenes persist, any instances of nudity have been removed, as have Beth's, uh, spirited narration. It is harder to separate "Yellowstone" from its blanket of violence. Luckily, this is American media we're talking about, where sexual content incites much more finger wagging than violence, so the show's bloodier scenes are largely unchanged.

Some edits have little to do with content and more to do with cutting the show's runtime, with some superfluous scraps left on the cutting room floor. "They cut most [of] the scene where Tate throws a rock at Lee, for swearing and run time," noticed u/Designasim on Reddit. "Also they cut Tate dropping his ice cream."

Not everyone is a fan of the network edit; one Redditor, u/Sensitive-Region4925, called the changes "weird and awkward to say the least." The edits aren't enough to discourage viewership, though. Airing "Yellowstone" on CBS has turned Paramount's cash cow into an even greater asset. During the Season 1 run on CBS, an average of 5.49 million viewers tuned in for each episode.