The “final cycle” of the phenomenally popular series starts in November.
Just yesterday, we were wondering when Yellowstone might return, and would Kevin Costner continue to be the star of the show. This morning, we got a few answers in a press release.
Paramount Network has announced “a further expansion of the Yellowstone universe,” a new and so far untitled sequel series (as opposed to prequel series like 1883 and 1923) that will premiere in December following what’s billed as the “final cycle” of Yellowstone, which kicks off in November. The cast for the sequel — which, like Yellowstone, is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios — will be announced shortly.
“Yellowstone has been the cornerstone on which we have launched an entire universe of global hits, from 1883 to Tulsa King,” said Chris McCarthy, President & CEO Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, “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.”
“The Dutton story continues,” added David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios, “picking up where Yellowstone leaves off in another epic tale. We are thrilled to bring this new journey to audiences around the world.”
It should be noted that Kevin Costner’s name appears nowhere in the press release, suggesting there is still doubt about how involved he will be in the remaining episodes of Yellowstone. (The Oscar- and Emmy-winning actor-filmmaker currently is filming his Western epic Horizon: An American Saga in Utah.) Nor is there any mention of Matthew McConaughey, who has been mentioned in many news accounts as the possible star of either a Yellowstone sequel or a retooled version of the original series.
According to Deadline, filming on the final Season 5 episodes of Yellowstone is expected to start in August. But there’s a catch: It’s not clear “whether all remaining Yellowstone scripts have been completed and whether Sheridan has written scripts for the sequel series,” Deadline reports. “Given that there is currently a writers strike going on, the premiere dates may be subject to change.”
The Season 5 midseason finale of Yellowstone aired last Jan. 1, meaning that the “final cycle” will arrive nearly a year after viewers last saw paterfamilias John Dutton (Costner), his spectacularly untidy family, and the various supporting characters in his orbit. No matter what happens to John in the concluding episodes, it’s clear that, one way or another, life will go on without him.
As the showbiz trade paper Variety points out: “The sequel series not only allows Paramount and Sheridan to bypass any potential issues with Costner, but it also allows them to stream a new series featuring most of the original Yellowstone cast, as Yellowstone itself currently streams on Peacock.”
Yellowstone II: The Sequel, or whatever they decide to call it, will premiere on Paramount Network “and later on Paramount+,” according to this morning’s press release. No word yet as to whether that means the sequel — like 1883, 1923 and two other Sheridan series, Mayor of Kingstown and Tulsa King — will be available exclusively on Paramount+ after a single-episode preview on Paramount Network.
Matthew McConaughey: Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Wild Turkey