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Yellowstone May End With Season 5 Due to Dispute With Kevin Costner

Paramount is reportedly shifting focus to a Yellowstone spinoff starring Matthew McConaughey.
  • Kevin Costner in Yellowstone (Photo: Paramount Network)
    Kevin Costner in Yellowstone (Photo: Paramount Network)

    The Duttons’ reign may soon be coming to an end. According to Deadline, Paramount is taking steps to bring Yellowstone to a close with its fifth season, which is currently airing. The shocking move comes amid a protracted disagreement with star Kevin Costner, who reportedly demanded to spend just one week shooting the six episodes that comprise the second half of Season 5.

    In place of Yellowstone, Paramount and creator Taylor Sheridan are developing a new spinoff starring Matthew McConaughey. Deadline reports that several stars from the Yellowstone mothership will move over to McConaughey’s series, which will air on Paramount Network and stream exclusively on Paramount+. (While spinoffs 1883 and 1923 are Paramount+ originals, Yellowstone proper streams on Peacock as part of an agreement inked years ago.)

    It’s not yet known how McConaughey’s spinoff will fit into the larger Yellowstone universe, but the two shows are already connected: The new project reportedly emerged directly out of the dispute with Costner. According to sources close to negotiations, Costner only wanted to shoot for 50 days for the first eight episodes of Season 5; when he further limited his available time to a week for Part 2, Paramount Network declined the offer and opted to proceed with McConaughey’s show. As a result, it’s possible that Yellowstone will end with the second half of Season 5, which airs this summer.

    In a statement, a Paramount Network spokesperson declined to offer any insight into Yellowstone’s potential end or the McConaughey-led series. “We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come,” said the spokesperson. “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.”

    On February 22, a Paramount Network spokesperson added, “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.”

    The McConaughey-led spinoff is the fifth planned Yellowstone expansion series. Other dramas in Sheridan’s hit franchise include prequel series 1883, which explores the founding of the Duttons’ Yellowstone ranch, and 1923, starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford as Duttons facing the Great Depression; Bass Reeves, an 1883 spinoff about the first Black U.S. Marshal (played by David Oyelowo); and 6666, set in the present day on the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas.

    This story has been updated to include the February 22 statement from Paramount Network.

    Yellowstone is available to stream on Peacock. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Yellowstone, Paramount+, Paramount Network, Kevin Costner, Matthew McConaughey