Speculation about the show’s possible finale began in February 2023 when Deadline reported that Paramount Network was considering ending the show after season 5 because of scheduling conflicts with Kevin Costner, who plays lead character John Dutton. The outlet claimed at the time that the network was also exploring the possibility of moving forward with a spinoff starring Matthew McConaughey in a lead role.
A rep for Paramount Network, however, denied the report, saying only that they hoped Costner, 68, remains part of the Yellowstone family “for a long time to come.” The spokesperson added: “Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner.”
Despite that denial, rumors about the family drama’s future persisted. Later in February 2023, Puck published an exposé claiming that Costner was holding up production on the second half of season 5, which was originally set to air in summer 2023. According to the outlet, the new episodes haven’t been filmed yet and will now air starting in November 2023.
The Dances With Wolves director denied Puck‘s report through his lawyer, Marty Singer, who slammed the exposé as an “absolute lie.” Paramount Network, meanwhile, added in a statement: “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.”
As speculation about the show continued, cocreator Sheridan has remained tight-lipped about his plans for Yellowstone. The Wind River director has previously said that he already knows how he wants the series to end — and he’s been writing toward that finale all along.
“There’s only so much hovering one can do before the story starts to lose its locomotion; you can’t put it in neutral just because it’s successful,” the Sons of Anarchy alum told The New York Times in December 2021. “It will go as many years as it takes for me to tell the story, but you’re not going to see nine seasons of it. No way.”
Paramount officially announced in May 2023 that the second half of season 5, premiering in November, would be the show’s last. An untitled sequel show is set to debut in December 2023.
Keep scrolling to see what the cast of Yellowstone has said about the show’s future ahead of its cancellation: