‘Yellowstone,’ TV’s Hit Western, Will End Its Run After This Season

The current season of “Yellowstone,” the Western starring Kevin Costner that became one of the most popular shows on television, will be its last, Paramount announced Friday.

The series, which airs on the Paramount Network, will be followed by a new “Yellowstone” sequel — created, like the original, by Taylor Sheridan — that will start in December, Paramount said. The sequel will air on the Paramount Network, a cable channel, and later on the Paramount+ streaming platform.

“‘Yellowstone’ has been the cornerstone on which we have launched an entire universe of global hits,” Chris McCarthy, the president and chief executive of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, which produces “Yellowstone” along with 101 Studios, said in a statement that announced that its final episodes would be shown starting in November.

“Yellowstone,” which tells the saga of the Duttons, a rich and rowdy ranching family in Montana led by the patriarch John Dutton (Costner), is one of the biggest shows on television. Its Season 4 finale was the most-watched scripted prime-time telecast in 2022, Variety reported, with more than 13 million viewers watching on the night it premiered. And the Season 5 premiere last November brought in a total of more than 17 million viewers, according to Paramount.

The announcement of the end of “Yellowstone” came amid rumors in the press of tensions between Costner and the show’s creative team, and reports that he would not return to the show following this season.

“Yellowstone” has sometimes been called television’s “red-state hit,” a label some critics have called too simplistic. (Sheridan told The New York Times in 2019 that “The people who are calling it a red-state show have probably never watched it.”) But it has attracted attention for telling stories from a part of America that is underrepresented in Hollywood programming.

Paramount released data earlier in its run suggesting that it was most popular in the South and in the middle of the country. But its demographic reach is wider, a dynamic Friday’s announcement alluded to when it mentioned the show’s “passionate audience from the middle of the country to each of the coasts.”

Before he became one of TV’s most prolific creators, Sheridan was best known as a screenwriter — his screenplay for the Western feature film “Hell or High Water” was nominated for an Academy Award in 2017. His other series, which run on Paramount+, include the “Yellowstone” prequels “1883” (starring the real-life couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) and “1923” (Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren) as well as the crime dramas “Tulsa King” (Sylvester Stallone) and “Mayor of Kingstown” (Jeremy Renner).

McCarthy said in the statement that he was confident that the still-untitled sequel would be “another big hit.”

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