Yellowstone has become a cornerstone of network television since it first debuted on the Paramount Network in 2018.
The modern-day Western drama brought a new concept to the genre as a whole. Instead of pitting cowboys and ranchers against one another, it focused on a rancher's fight against urban development.
While Yellowstone saw great success throughout the entirety of its run, some behind-the-scenes drama between series lead Kevin Costner and creator/writer Taylor Sheridan led to the show getting canceled.
However, it won't be the end of the universe as a whole, as Sheridan, the cast, and the crew still have to finish Season 5 Part 2 before moving on to the upcoming spin-off shows.
Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2 Release: When Will It Come Out
Season 5 Part 1 of Yellowstone premiered on November 10, 2022, and the midseason finale came on January 1, 2023.
Part 2 of the current installment was originally supposed to begin filming sometime in March, but that date was pushed back due to the drama between Costner and Sheridan.
Costner reportedly only wanted to dedicate a single week to filming Part 2, which would be essentially impossible due to the amount of screen time his character, John Dutton, always has.
Apparently, the actor wouldn't budge in his wishes, which caused animosity between him and others, specifically Sheridan.
Because of this drama, the filming date continued to be delayed. It is unclear if Costner and Sheridan ever came to an agreement, but Part 2 then couldn't begin production due to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) strikes, which are ongoing.
Kayce Dutton actor Luke Grimes recently revealed that they would be shooting Part 2 if it weren't for the strikes, at least making it seem as though Costner and Sheridan may have worked something out so Part 2 could get made:
"We have not [started filming the second half of Season 5] because of the writers strike. I think we would be if it weren’t for that. But that takes precedence over everything. They got to get that all sorted, and then we’ll be getting after it."
If everything had gone smoothly and there was no Costner/Sheridan drama, filming would have begun in March, and Season 5 Part 2 would have been released sometime in November.
That was the original release window that Paramount was eyeing for the upcoming installment, but seeing as how not even a single scene has been filmed yet, it will likely not come out until well into 2024.
At this point, Part 2 really depends on when the strikes end in Hollywood. If all sides come to an agreement soon, possibly before the beginning of November, then Part 2 could start shooting by January and it could premiere as early as summer.
However, if the strikes last longer than that, and possibly don't even get resolved until the early months of 2024, then Part 2 may not even be released until fall 2024.
How Many Episodes Does Yellowstone Season 5 Have?
As a whole, Season 5 of Yellowstone will be the longest installment by a fairly good amount.
Season 1 had the shortest number of episodes with nine, and then each installment since then consisted of 10 episodes.
After Part 2 of Season 5 comes out, the season as a whole will have 14 episodes in total.
Eight of those have already been released with Part 1, so Part 2 will feature six brand new episodes once it is filmed and released.
Is Kevin Costner Returning for Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2?
While it is unlikely that Kevin Costner will be a part of the Yellowstone universe after the flagship show ends, he is still expected to be in Season 5 Part 2.
After all, he is still the series lead and his character is not only the governor of Montana but the central figure in the political conflict going on, so it would be almost impossible to make a second part of the season without including him.
Even though he is supposed to come back for Part 2, it is unclear exactly how much he will be featured. If Costner stood his ground and didn't change his filming schedule at all for Sheridan, then it is possible that he could only appear in one or two of the six remaining episodes.
Puck previously reported that Costner was directly affecting the status of Season 5 Part 2, which apparently made Sheridan "furious" as he "can't finish writing the 5B episodes until" he and Costner work out their differences:
"This is a relationship that has run its course. Sheridan is certainly furious…he can’t finish writing the 5B episodes until the Costner drama is resolved and his star is either in or out."
It is unclear at this point whether those differences were worked out or not, but even if they were, Costner's role in Part 2 will probably not be as major as was originally planned.
If that is the case, considering that he probably won't be back at all in the future, Part 2 could even see the death of John Dutton.
As heartbreaking as that may be for viewers, Sheridan has to find some way to wrap up his character, and if he can't make a happy ending with Costner beside his on-screen family, then killing the character off may be the only choice the creator has.
Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2 Cast: Who Will Return?
Pretty much every cast member who was a part of Season 5 Part 1 is expected to return for the final few episodes once they are released.
However, since Part 1 ended with a mid-season cliffhanger, not all of the characters involved will be in the same place anymore.
Some characters will be heading down to Texas to move the Yellowstone Ranch's cattle to a better location for the time being, while others will be staying in Montana.
Then there's John and all of the political drama with Jamie that will likely take place away from the ranch as well.
Obviously, some major characters that appear in the TV show will be Luke Grimes' Kayce Dutton and Cole Hauser's Rip Wheeler, but here are other characters expected to come back for Season 5 Part 2:
- Kevin Costner as John Dutton
- Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton
- Wes Bentley as Jamie Dutton
- Kelsey Asbille as Monica Dutton
- Denim Richards as Colby Mayfield
- Jen Landon as Teeter
- Wendy Moniz as Lynelle Perry
- John Emmet Tracy as Ellis Steele
- Ian Bohen as Ryan
- Piper Perabo as Summer Higgins
- Jacki Weaver as Caroline Weaver
Two characters who are likely to appear, but have not been confirmed are Jefferson White's Jimmy Hurdstrom and Kathryn Kelly's Emily, as the two were featured in Episode 8 of Part 1.
They are currently in Texas, but since some of the ranch hands are traveling down there, it is possible that Jimmy and Emily will aid them in Part 2.
The final few episodes could also feature Jimmy and Emily in a way to set up one of the upcoming Yellowstone spinoffs, 6666.
That show will actually be set in Texas at the ranch where Jimmy works, and one of the episodes in Part 2 could serve as a great backdoor pilot for the spinoff.
What Will Happen in Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2?
The end of Season 5 Part 1 set up the conflict between John Dutton and his adopted son, Jamie.
Jamie decided to go through with calling for John's impeachment, putting the main character and Montana governor in a difficult position.
The midseason finale also showed that there are just as many problems at the ranch itself and that the cattle will have to be moved away to the 6666 Ranch in Texas.
Prior to the drama between Kevin Costner and Taylor Sheridan, it would have been safe to assume that Part 2 would mainly be about Jamie vs. John.
However, since it is unknown just how much John will appear on-screen in Part 2, a lot of the focus may actually be put on the ranch hands that went to Texas, ultimately setting up a backdoor pilot for the 6666 spinoff show.
How Jamie will move forward with impeaching John will still definitely play a major role in Part 2, viewers may just not see the lead actor as much as previously thought.
It could be that Beth will act as John's spokesperson and do most of the dirty work for her father, which would almost seem more appropriate anyway since Jamie and Beth have been at each others' throats for the entirety of the show.
However, no matter what happens, fans can expect to see some sort of closure for all of the involved characters seeing as how Part 2 will be the final few episodes of the entire show.
Where Can I Watch Yellowstone Season 5 Part 2 When It Releases?
When Season 5 Part 2 of Yellowstone comes out, fans will be able to watch a new episode every week on the Paramount Network.
Since the first season aired in 2018, each episode has been released on a Sunday night on the Paramount Network, and that will likely be the same release strategy that Sheridan and Paramount utilize for Season 5 Part 2.
All five seasons of Yellowstone are available to stream on Peacock.