Yellowstone TV franchise began with an eponymous neo-Western drama series in 2018 and have since grown into a universe with several spin-offs and upcoming projects. The Taylor Sheridan-helmed franchise championed the resurgence of Western TV, inspiring Paramount to pursue its expansion. With the rave reviews the first three Yellowstone shows received, it’s hardly a surprise the network green-lit more shows for the franchise, some of which are already in the pipeline.
The original show in the Yellowstone Universe is built around the Dutton family, the owners of the largest ranch in Montana who must fight off diverse challenges to hold on to the land. Subsequent shows follow different generations of the family and have been packed with an interesting cast of anti-heroes. This avails the universe with several options for spin-off and sequel shows; and thus far, Paramount has been inclined to approve some of such shows.
The ability to create spin-off shows came with the success of Yellowstone which premiered on June 20, 2018. Set in the modern day, the neo-Western drama series stars Kevin Costner alongside Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Jefferson White, and Gil Birmingham. The events of Yellowstone take place at the time of each season’s release and revolve around the Dutton family. It narrates a series of dramas that center on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch and Kevin Costner’s John Dutton III, the patriarch of the family.
Yellowstone debuted to mixed reviews but gained higher approval ratings with subsequent episodes. The show will return in the summer of 2023 for the second half of season 5. It remains to be seen whether or not Yellowstone will be greenlitfor season 6, whatever happens, it wouldn’t be the end of it all as the story will continue with other Yellowstone spin-off shows.
If Yellowstone revived Western TV, 1883 proved that its success was no fluke. The Western drama television miniseries premiered on December 19, 2021, as a spin-off prequel to Yellowstone, the second installment in the franchise. 1883 aired only ten episodes for one season that concluded on February 27, 2022. The miniseries set in 1883 follows the post-civil war generation of the Dutton family to relate how they came to own Yellowstone, the largest contiguous ranch at the heart of their existence.
The series stars Tim McGraw, Sam Elliott, Faith Hill, Isabel May, LaMonica Garrett, Marc Rissmann, Eric Nelsen, and Audie Rick. Chronologically, it is the first Yellowstone TV show to watch. This explains why it was released on Blu-ray and DVD as 1883: A Yellowstone Origin Story.
Consolidating on the success of existing Yellowstone TV shows, Paramount ordered 1923 in February 2022. Initially titled 1932, 1923 serves as a second prequel spin-off series to Yellowstone and a sequel to 1883. The show is set in its titular year, 40 years after the events of 1883; so it is chronologically the second show to watch in the Yellowstone Universe. It premiered on December 18, 2022, pulling 7.4 million viewers to become Paramount+’s biggest debut ever.
1923 aired eight episodes for Season 1 and has been renewed for Season 2 which will consist of another eight episodes. The series stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren alongside Brandon Sklenar, Julia Schlaepfer, Darren Mann, Jerome Flynn, Isabel May, Brian Geraghty, Timothy Dalton, Michelle Randolph, and Aminah Nieves. It follows a generation of the Dutton family in the titular year as they live through several hardships of the era.
Given 1923’s massive success, signing off another prequel series for Yellowstone became a cakewalk. It was reported in February 2023 that Paramount would expand the Yellowstone Universe with 1944 to act as a sequel to 1923. The upcoming series now in development will be set in the titular year and will likely continue to follow the Dutton Family and the unending conflict surrounding Yellowstone.
The show is also expected to build its plot around several historical events of the time like World War II. 1944’s premise is yet to be fully developed and its cast hasn’t been announced. However, it is said that it will be filmed in Bitterroot Valley located in southwestern Montana, United States. As filming is yet to begin, it is hard to tell when the series will premiere.
Bass Reeves was announced in September 2021 as one of the upcoming Yellowstone spin-off shows; a spinoff series to 1883. The series is set around the life and times of the first black U.S. Marshal, Bass Reeves, who lived from July 1838 to January 1910. Nigerian-British actor David Oyelowo has been cast as the leading man alongside Dennis Quaid, Forrest Goodluck, and Lauren E. Banks. Other cast members include Barry Pepper, Demi Singleton, Grantham Coleman, and Garrett Hedlund.
Originally conceived as a separate series, Bass Reeves will follow the legendary deputy U.S. Marshal who arrested over 3000 dangerous criminals on the run, killing at least 14 of them in self-defense. It remains to be seen how his story will be tied to the Yellowstone events. The series began filming in October 2022 and is anticipated to premiere in late 2023 or early 2024.
In Yellowstone Season 4, Jimmy Hurdstorm (Jefferson White) left Yellowstone for the 6666 Ranch. This seems to be an avenue to to set him up for a prominent role in another Yellowstone spin-off, as Paramount+ announced 6666 in February 2021. The upcoming series is set in the present day and will focus on the historic, real-life 6666 Ranch in King County, Texas.6666 was initially slated to premiere in 2023. While it’s in the works, much of an update hasn’t been given about its progress. The show might eventually arrive in 2024.