News broke on Friday, May 5, that the Paramount hit will return in November to air its final episodes. An untitled sequel is set to debut one month later.
“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,” Chris McCarthy, president and CEO Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, said in a statement.
David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios, added in a statement of his own: “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.”
The announcement comes amid speculation that lead actor Kevin Costner has held up production on season 5, the first half of which premiered in November 2022. The Oscar winner, 68, has starred as patriarch John Dutton III since Yellowstone debuted in June 2018.
Following a bombshell exposé published by Puck in February, titled “Casualties of the Costner-Yellowstone Crossfire,” the actor’s lawyer shut down claims of bad blood on set. “The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie,” said Marty Singer. “It’s ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second. As everyone who knows anything about Kevin is well aware, he is incredibly passionate about the show and has always gone way above and beyond to ensure its success.”
A rep for Paramount also addressed the accusations in a statement, noting, “As we previously stated, Kevin has been a key component of the success of our Yellowstone series, and we hope that continues from here on out.”
Rumors of drama continued when several of the show’s biggest names — including Costner, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Bentley, Gil Birmingham and Jacki Weaver — were absent from Yellowstone‘s PaleyFest panel in April despite being scheduled to attend. Costars Josh Lucas, Wendy Moniz, Mo Brings Plenty and Dawn Olivieri filled in, but press were only notified of the change minutes before the panel began.
Following the event, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that “ongoing issues” between Costner and creator Taylor Sheridan played a part in the last-minute cancellation. “It’s been an ongoing power play between them,” the source explained. “Kevin didn’t want to come across as unauthentic and he would have if he was forced to dodge uncomfortable questions about their working relationship. It seemed like a lose-lose situation for him. It just wasn’t worth it to Kevin.”
Reilly, 45, addressed the shakeup via Instagram later that month, replying to a fan who asked about her absence. “I was filming in the UK at the time, and let them know in January I wouldn’t be able to attend,” she wrote on April 30. “I was sorry to hear my name was still on the list of attendees, as it is unfair to our fans. Xx.”
Yellowstone has spawned several spinoffs since its debut, including 1883, 1923 and 1944. Earlier this year, Deadline reported that Matthew McConaughey was in talks to lead a new project amid scheduling conflicts with Costner, but Paramount denied the rumors at the time. McCarthy later hinted in March that the network was prepared to move on with a spinoff regardless of the original series’ future.
“[Yellowstone] wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin and we hope that that stays for a long time to come,” the exec told The Hollywood Reporter at the time.