Why the most successful US series ends with Kevin Costner – and what happens next with the huge Yellowstone universe

Why the most successful US series ends with Kevin Costner

Yellowstone is the ultimate hit series in the USA. The modern western series by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) has been telling the story of the Dutton family, who defend their titular ranch and their piece of land against everyone who wants to take them away. Under the leadership of Patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner), his children Beth (Kelly Reilly), Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Jamie (Wes Bentley) also become involved in intrigues and criminal activities.

We explain below that the successful American series was suddenly canceled, how it came about and why it still doesn’t mean the end of the series universe.

An American series success: The Yellowstone Empire

Even if many in Germany still haven’t heard of the series on Paramount+ *: Yellowstone is extremely popular in the United States. As Penn Live reported, Season 4 propelled her to status with 12.1 million viewers most successful fictional series in the USA. The morally ambivalent characters and the strong mix of tension, nefariousness and beautiful natural scenery struck a chord with the audience.



The original series has already spawned several spin-offs in the form of prequels. Further projects that will grow the Yellowstone universe are being planned. Here you will first find an overview of all current and planned series:

These series belonged to the Yellowstone series universe:

  • Yellowstone: Mother series about the Dutton family and their ranch called Yellowstone in Montana – series started in 2018, currently in season 5.
  • 1883: History of the Dutton family, who join a settler trek in search of a new home in America – completed miniseries 2021-22.
  • 1923: Yellowstone prehistory about the Dutton ancestors in the 20th century around landowner Jacob (Harrison Ford) – series start in 2022, season 2 is planned.
  • Lawmen: Bass Reeves: originally a spin-off to 1883, now a more independent story about the first black US marshal – series starts in November 2023, further anthology seasons about other law enforcement officers are possible.
  • Yellowstone: 6666: Spin-off to the horse-focused “Four Sixes” ranch in Texas, which was introduced in season 4 of Yellowstone – series starts in 2024.
  • 1944: the spin-off that follows 1923 and continues the Dutton family history in the Second World War – series start unknown.
  • 2024: Sequel series that takes place directly after the 5th season of Yellowstone, probably with Matthew McConaughey as the main actor – the series is expected to start in November 2024.
  • You can currently stream all of the Yellowstone cosmos series that have already been released on Paramount+ *.

    Dispute with Kevin Costner: How did Yellowstone’s sudden cancellation come about?

    After advancing in the US series landscape, Yellowstone with its numerous spin-offs seemed to be untouchable. The news that reached us in May 2023 was therefore unexpected bad news for many: Apparently it was Kevin Costner left and ended Yellowstone after season 5 been.



    At the time of Yellowstone’s cancellation, part 1 of season 5 had already run for 8 episodes in the USA and the (as usual split) season was paused on a cliffhanger. Part 2 was in preparation, but it was questionable whether the biggest star of the series would be seen again in the last 6 episodes. Because behind the scenes it had Dispute between Kevin Costner and series creator Taylor Sheridan given.

    This noise was not least due to Kevin Costner’s new multi-part film Horizon film project together, which is scheduled to appear as an 11-hour American Western saga in summer 2024. In order to be able to dedicate himself to this mammoth directing project of his own, Kevin Costner demanded less filming time on Yellowstone one: namely 50 days instead of 65 in season 5a and then only 7 days in season 5b. He didn’t see why filming, which had previously only filled his schedule once a year, should now take place twice a year (and thus hinder his filming of Horizon).

    In September 2023, the star commented on the chaos behind the scenes for the first time. In the divorce process from his wife Christine Baumgartner (including high alimony payments for their three children), Kevin Costner spoke about “Schedule difficulties” and “creative problems” in Yellowstone production. He has “trying to break the deadlock”but are his negotiating partners “just walked away”.



    Shortly afterwards, details of these negotiating difficulties also leaked out from Taylor Sheridan’s opposing side: Apparently Kevin Costner also demanded his shortened filming days more salary and more say in the script, including the right to veto. In particular, the required script review is said to have been the last straw for the busy Yellowstone boss, who is solely responsible for the scripts of the successful series. According to several reports, Sheridan then made the decision to Killing Kevin Costner’s character John Dutton in Part 2 of Season 5. The manner of death was probably already recorded in previous contracts and can no longer be contested.

    What’s next for Yellowstone?

    Costner claims he now wants to sue because Yellowstone still owes him $24 million in feesbut since according to Deadline he was paid for the full 5th season (which has only been half filmed so far), this demand apparently refers to the 6th and 7th seasons, which will no longer be made.


    Yellowstone: Beth and Rip may be moving to the 2024 series

    At the same time, the Yellowstone universe along with the season 5 cancellation also has the Sequel series called 2024 announced, set after the end of Yellowstone for the first time is his. (Surviving) characters from the ended mother series should then be able to move on to the sequel, which, according to Comic Book, is aiming for a launch in November 2024.

    Rumor has it in the Yellowstone series in 2024 Matthew McConaughey replacing Kevin Costner should. With the expected death of family patriarch John Dutton, McConaughey will probably be freshly introduced into the Yellowstone universe and replace the old main character as the new driving force. What role he will play in the new series is still unknown. Maybe a missing member of the Dutton family will be pulled out of the cowboy hat by then?

    In the current times of Hollywood actors’ strikes, the series mills are still at a standstill, so negotiations about filming and recasting must first wait for an agreement with the union.

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