Kevin Costner, 68, who is divorcing Christine Baumgartner, his wife of 18 years, is also ending his relationship with his juggernaut hit TV series Yellowstone. The brilliant show will air its final half-season in November, thanks to a long, Western-style standoff between Costner and the show's creator, Taylor Sheridan, 52.
But never fear! The future for Yellowstone fans is still bright, and it probably involves Matthew McConaughey, who is in talks to star in a new Yellowstone spin-off series that will premiere in December, likely with some of the current show’s cast. Here’s everything you need to know about the real-life drama and what it means for your watching this season.
How big a deal is ‘Yellowstone,’ anyway?
Very! The modern-day cowboy epic about a Succession-like family feud is TV’s No. 1 scripted series: Its most recent season premiere broke ratings records; it’s the No. 1 DVD bestseller and it’s one big reason Paramount+ added more subscribers this winter than any other streaming service.
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Why would Costner quit his huge comeback hit?
Right now, Costner is writing, directing and starring in Horizon, a $100-million-plus film (with several sequels green-lit) about the settlement of the West, so he’s got less time for Yellowstone. Insiders told the news site Puck that Costner and Sheridan are like “Brady and Belichick,” or “silverbacks wrestling.” With his own Western epic universe in the Horizon franchise, Costner was evidently less lured by the millions he makes on Yellowstone and more interested in creative control (and making even more millions).
Should we know this guy Taylor Sheridan?
Yes, if you like TV hits with major movie stars. Check out Sheridan’s Sylvester Stallone crime show Tulsa King; Jeremy Renner’s Mayor of Kingstown; the OG Yellowstone and spin-offs 1883, 1923 (with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren) and the soon-to-be-released frontier epic 1883: The Bass Reeves Story with David Oyelowo; plus the spy show Lioness, with Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman, and the coming series 6666, about the cowboys on Texas’ historic 6666 ranch, which Sheridan’s team bought for more than $320 million in 2020. According to audience analysts at Samba TV, 24 percent of people watching Paramount+ only watch Sheridan’s shows.