It’s no secret that Yellowstone is the biggest surprise to hit broadcast TV in ages.
The Dutton saga snagged viewers (if not critics) right out of the gate, and Yellowstone has been a cultural phenomenon and ratings juggernaut ever since.
With several prequels already and more in the future, now we look to the end of Yellowstone and what comes next with the modern setting of this captivating story.
What is Yellowstone About?
Yellowstone tells the tale of the Dutton family and their sprawling ranch in Montana.
The Duttons were early settlers to the area and amassed incredible acreage, becoming the envy of others, especially those who wished to tear it asunder to make way for more modern pursuits.
Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton, the patriarch, who, with his children Beth, Jamie, and Kayce at his side (for better or worse) fights the good fight to hold onto tradition and maintain the family’s western dynasty.
For more on the story at large, please visit our Yellowstone Episode Guide for the show’s full history.
Will There Be a Modern-Day Yellowstone Spinoff?
Right now, all signs point to yes, but if you’ve been watching the many layers of the Yellowstone Season 5 saga, you know that nothing is set in stone.
Paramount+ has had measured success with prequels 1883 and 1923. The Taylor Sheridan Universe is thriving on the streamer thanks to the success of Yellowstone; the irony isn’t lost on them that Peacock has rights to Yellowstone.
So far, we understand that the spinoff will most likely happen, if not only to capture the cultural zeitgeist Yellowstone offers by debuting on cable network Paramount and landing on the streamer.
Most everything else is unknown, and as news drops, it becomes a shakier proposition altogether.
What Will the Yellowstone Spinoff Be About?
We have no idea. What we do know is hearsay. It’s expected to be an almost immediate follow-up to Yellowstone.
Yellowstone was expected to go on for another season, but Kevin Costner’s involvement fell through due to his film projects and behind-the-scenes arguments on the Yellowstone set about story, direction, and money.
Our initial guess was that what followed in the spinoff would explore ideas Sheridan had in mind for a sixth season. Cast disputes may change that trajectory by some degree.
Who Will Be In the Yellowstone Spinoff Cast?
If you asked us this question a week ago, we would have been quite certain Matthew McConaughey would be leading the cast. Today, we’re not so sure.
Puck reported that he’s still at the top of the list for the starring role, but until he sees a script, he won’t commit.
Michelle Pfeiffer, though, is apparently on the hook for an unspecified role. To be clear, all of these roles for incoming stars are unspecified.
Will Any of the Yellowstone Cast Join the Spinoff?
Here’s where it gets tricky. Yellowstone was expected to air at least another season, and the stars’ contracts are already signed. They’ll get paid even though the show will not go on.
It was expected that Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler), and Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton) would all move to the new series.
Suddenly, according to Puck, war has broken out about salaries (in the asking range of $1.25 million for Reilly and Hauser) and top billing.
There are all kinds of ideas being floated, such as taking some of the money from Season 6 and using it for the spinoff, but since they’re getting paid regardless, that’s not going to fly.
Of the three actors, it seems Grimes is less concerned with money, which could mean his participation in the spinoff will be easier to ensure, but it’s Beth and Rip who have taken fans and the internet by storm.
If they don’t participate and a significant star like McConaughey doesn’t come through, it could be problematic for the spinoff.
I say that while knowing that the prequels have found their own passionate base of fans, but I also read fan reactions all over the web: Many don’t tune into those shows because they’re on streaming, and many others cannot picture a modern-day Yellowstone without Rip and Beth.
They’re not necessarily wrong on either count, but it creates a big problem with regard to the spinoff moving forward successfully.
Adding to the dilemma is that Hauser and Reilly would like top billing — over McConaughey or Pfeiffer.
Why Not Just Have a Rip and Beth Spinoff?
This is a question we have to ask. While Yellowstone was conceived as a starring vehicle for Costner, it was Reilly and Wheeler’s Beth and Rip that brought the series to cult status.
The characters are well-written and showcase a true love story between two characters who put up with each other’s BS. They are the calm in each other’s storm, and it’s impossible not to gravitate toward them.
They’d get top billing on their own show, and if the writing is done right, a Rip and Beth spinoff could overshadow even Yellowstone itself.
There’s plenty of room in this universe, but Sheridan only has so much of himself to give. Counting the spinoff, he’s got his hands in eight shows, many of which he writes all by himself. There may not be room for another.
And let’s face it: by pushing the boundaries of their success to see how much they’re worth, Reilly and Hauser could be showing themselves the door.
The TV business is in cost-saving mode, and even with a surefire hit like the spinoff or another iteration starring only Reilly and Hauser, there will come a point when executives say enough.
So, the likelihood that we'll see a spinoff without the Dutton family is probably better than us seeing one with the family if issues like these continue to surface.
Is There a Premiere Date for the Yellowstone Spinoff?
We don’t even have a premiere date for the second half of Yellowstone Season 5, so we’re in for a long wait with this one.
Once tentatively titled Yellowstone: 2024 (following the 1883 and 1923 formats), with so much in the air, even that tentative title should be off the table.
Let’s hope we aren’t looking at Yellowstone: 2027 and that it gets here a little sooner than we anticipate now.
Is There a Yellowstone Spinoff Trailer?
By now, you know the answer to that, but we wanted to include the possibility here so that when you return, you can discover all the details as they emerge.
We will keep bringing you every detail, so please bookmark this page (and follow us with Grow, the cute little widget in the bottom right-hand corner of our pages!) so that you never miss a single beat.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.