‘Yellowstone’ to End Season 5 in November, New Sequel Series to Debut in December

Folks, Yellowstone is ending. Paramount Network confirmed the news in a rare statement given to Deadlineone that also announced an upcoming sequel. Originally rumored to be as a spinoff much like 1923 and 1883, the (likely) Matthew McConaughey-led project will actually continue the story of Yellowstone, wherever we leave off.

Yellowstone has been the cornerstone on which we have launched an entire universe of global hits—from 1883 to Tulsa King, and I am confident our Yellowstone sequel will be another big hit, thanks to the brilliant creative mind of Taylor Sheridan and our incredible casts who bring these shows to life,” said Chris McCarthy, the President and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group/ViacomCBS. Yellowstone executive producer David Glasser added, “The Dutton story continues, picking up where Yellowstone leaves off in another epic tale. We are thrilled to bring this new journey to audiences around the world.”

Many of the current cast members have been informed that there’s a place for them in the new series, should they wish to continue on in the franchise—but a final cast list will be made available once creator Taylor Sheridan finishes writing the scripts. “[Sheridan] is in Texas spinning hay into gold and we’re hoping we’ll do it soon,” director Stephen Kay told Deadline. “Everybody’s excited.”

We know one person who won’t be returning: Kevin Costner. The leading actor’s much-rumored feud with Sheridan is likely the number-one cause of all this shuffling. Just earlier this week, we learned that he would not be returning after the upcoming Season Five finale. Due to rumored egos butting heads and problems with filming schedules, Costner and Sheridan’s alleged beef has put Season Five on hiatus, but Paramount is hoping to have the lead patriarch return to finish it out for a November release. According to Deadline, the untitled sequel will then receive a quick, straight-to-series order for a December premiere. That’s incredibly fast.

As we’ve theorized before, it’s possible that the hope to finish out Season Five with Costner also falls through. Deadline confirmed that it still isn’t clear whether Costner will return for any of Yellowstone‘s final episodes, which is slated to go into production in August. For a premiere in November, that’s a very tight turn-around. January’s midseason finale ended on a significant cliffhanger that is begging for resolution, but there’s still more hurdles to jump through. Production has to sort through Costner’s reported unwillingness to put time into filming, Sheridan’s lack of a script, and the recent Writer’s Guild of America strike. Sheridan is also clearly spread thin at Paramount, writing several other series, including Tulsa King, Mayor of Kingstown, Lioness, 1923, and Bass Reeves. That may spell doom for the Yellowstone cast returning to actually finish out Season Five.

The good news? We’ll have the sequel series, eventually. John Dutton’s kids all trying to kill each other in the midseason finale may just present the best scenario to make some off-screen deaths and move on as fast as Sheridan can. Spending several scenes explaining why characters like Beth Dutton and Rip Wheeler are talking to Matthew McConaughey now, instead of Costner? It would only confuse audiences and drag a lukewarm season on even further. Just give us Yellowstone 2, and keep the good ol’ cowboy vibes rolling.

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Assistant Editor

Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.

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