Yellowstone is one of the most popular TV shows currently running, and many fans are wondering if there will still be a Season 6 due to a number of factors surrounding series lead Kevin Costner.
The Western drama is currently in the midst of its fifth season on the Paramount Network. The mid-season finale aired on January 1, 2023, and the initial expectation was for Part 2 to be released sometime later this year.
However, due to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) strikes, Part 2 still has not begun production, and it is unclear when filming will actually be able to begin as of right now.
As of the beginning of Season 5, it seemed as though the ending of the show was nowhere in sight. That recently changed, however, due to drama surrounding Kevin Costner.
Will There Be a Season 6 of Yellowstone?
Initial plans suggested that Yellowstone would continue on for not only Season 6 but Season 7 as well.
However, Paramount and series creator Taylor Sheridan were forced to end the show after Part 2 of Season 5 for a number of reasons - the biggest being the drama between Sheridan and Kevin Costner.
It seemed as though the drama began when Costner apparently didn't want to dedicate more than one week to filming Part 2 of Season 5.
Costner stated in a November 2022 interview with USA Today that he only planned "to do one season," but that he would be willing "to step away" if needed:
"I was only going to do one season, but I've done this many. I give everything I can to what I'm doing. But the moment I feel that it's not right, I'm just going to step away."
However, after Costner apparently didn't want to commit to filming, the Paramount Network officially canceled the series.
Kevin Costner's Yellowstone Drama
As previously mentioned, it was reported that Costner didn't want to commit more than a week to filming Part 2 of Season 5.
Seeing as the tenured actor is the series lead and has earned an incredible amount of money for the series, his not wanting to dedicate the proper amount of time to the production likely rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
Previously, Costner reportedly limited himself to being available for 65 days of shooting but he then reduced that number to 50 days for Part 1 of Season 5.
Those numbers are incredibly different from only wanting to dedicate seven days to filming, and with Part 2 of Season 5 containing eight episodes, it would be impossible for Costner to be on-set for only a week and be able to film all of his scenes.
It is also important to mention that Costner will be starring in and directing his own Western series titled Horizon. While the film finished filming in November 2022, there are already more installments planned for the future, with the next already in production (which began filming in May).
The actor even admitted in a court hearing on September 1 (shared by Deadline) that breaking up Season 5 into two sections "affected Horizon," which messed up his plans and ultimately caused him to commit more time to a show that he thought he "was only doing once a year:"
"Somewhere along the line, they wanted to change things. They wanted to do 5A and 5B; [it] affected 'Horizon.' I was going to do my movie 'Horizon' and leave that show, do my movie, then do B. A show I was only doing once a year I was now doing twice."
Due to the drama surrounding Costner, it is unclear just how much screen time he will have in Part 2 of Season 5.
However, after Paramount and Taylor Sheridan decided to cancel the flagship show, plans for another spin-off were immediately announced.
Matthew McConaughey's Yellowstone Spin-Off
Amid the drama between Kevin Costner and the cast and crew of Yellowstone, it was confirmed by Paramount Media Networks head Chris McCarthy in June that a new spinoff show was officially in the works starring Matthew McConaughey.
This news broke when the future of Yellowstone was still up in the air, but McCarthy let fans know that the flagship series would have no effect on McConaughey's show, meaning that it would be released no matter what.
Not much at all is known about the spinoff, and it is unclear as of right now if it will feature any cast members from the main series.
However, Taylor Sheridan did comment on the fact that McConaughey would be taking on a role in his Yellowstone universe in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, calling the veteran actor a "natural fit."
Sheridan also detailed some of the conversations that he had with McConaughey over the years in regard to his thoughts on the Yellowstone franchise, and that McConaughey eventually couldn't resist the temptation of joining it himself:
"We had a few conversations over the years, and spitballed a few ideas. Then he started watching 'Yellowstone' and responded to it. He was like, 'I want to do that.' And by that he meant diving into a raw world clashing up against the modern world. And then I said, 'Buddy, that we can do.'"
In the same sitdown, the Yellowstone creator even teased that McConaughey's show could potentially be set in a location away from Montana, saying that "there are a lot of places" for a story like that to be told:
"There are lots of places where a way of life that existed for 150 years is slamming against a new way of life, but the challenges are completely different. There are a lot of places you can tell this story."
Sheridan is also currently working on multiple other Yellowstone spinoffs, including Season 2 of the Harrison Ford-led 1923, another Yellowstone prequel titled 1944, an anthology-style show called Lawmen: Bass Reeves, and even a series set in Texas titled 6666.
Initial Plans For Season 6 of Yellowstone
Yellowstone will be coming to an end after Part 2 of Season 5 airs on the Paramount Network, but that wasn't always the case.
It is also important to note that series creator, showrunner, and writer Taylor Sheridan didn't even attend the premiere because he was apparently already so busy working on the script for Season 6.
During a recent court hearing that took place on September 1 surrounding the divorce with his wife Christine Baumgartner, Kevin Costner actually shed a bit more light on what Sheridan planned on doing with the future of Yellowstone.
As shared by Deadline, Costner was asked in the hearing if he was offered to come back for Season 6 of the show.
The actor responded by saying it was "complicated," but did admit to talking with Sheridan about Season 6. However, Costner ultimately stated that "there were issues about creative," and that he tried to solve the problems:
"We did negotiate.There were issues about creative. I tried to break the logjam. They walked away."
Costner also revealed that the plan was for him to return to Yellowstone for not only Season 6 but also Season 7.
During the hearing, the actor also revealed that he was set to receive $24 million for Seasons 5, 6, and 7.
However, some reports state that the sum of money was actually what he was supposed to be paid for just Seasons 6 and 7, seeing as how he already received compensation for Season 5 (which still isn't finished filming).
According to Costner's comments, Yellowstone was supposed to continue on for years to come. However, due to the differences between Costner and Sheridan, it unfortunately will soon come to an end.
Seasons 1-5 of Yellowstone are available to stream on Peacock.