Wildly popular "Yellowstone" is in danger of cancellation, thanks to star Kevin Costner

Costner's demands could spell the end of the flagship series, but Matthew McConaughey could be its savior

By Alison Stine

Staff Writer

Published February 7, 2023 4:42PM (EST)

Kevin Costner in "Yellowstone" (Paramount Network)
Kevin Costner in "Yellowstone" (Paramount Network)

The beloved and long-running Western drama "Yellowstone" may be in danger of cancellation due to, of all things, star Kevin Costner's schedule.

On Monday, Deadline and other outlets reported that co-creator and showrunner of "Yellowstone," Taylor Sheridan, along with Paramount Global and Paramount Network, were allegedly planning to end the hugely popular show and were in the process of "plotting a potential franchise extension to continue the Dutton saga, a new show with Matthew McConaughey in talks to star." 

Costner stars as John Dutton in the Paramount + series, the patriarch of a powerful ranching family in the contemporary American West. For the second half of its fifth season, Costner only wanted to spend a week filming his scenes, apparently in order to give more time to his separate project, "Horizon," a film series which Costner is co-writing, producing, directing and starring in. Paramount said no to the one-week-only filming, and released an official response which raised more questions than answers. 

spokesperson for Paramount said, "We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of 'Yellowstone' and we hope that's the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built."

The spokesperson went on to say, "Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we'd love to partner."

Only this week, "1923," a prequel for "Yellowstone" starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford, was renewed for a second season. In 2022, "Yellowstone" reached over 12 million views for its fifth season premiere, making it the most popular scripted series of the television viewing season. The year previous, "Yellowstone" became the top-earning TV franchise, including both digital and Blu-ray sales.

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Like his popular "Yellowstone" series, Costner's forthcoming "Horizon" is a Western, described by People and others as an "epic," which is currently filming in Utah. The film is in four parts, and according to People, the story is "one that's especially important to the actor."

The second half of Season 5 of "Yellowstone" returns to Paramount + later this year. Watch a trailer for the season via YouTube below:


By Alison Stine

Alison Stine is a staff writer at Salon. She is the author of the novels "Trashlands" and "Road Out of Winter," winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award. A recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), she has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, and others.

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Brief Kevin Costner Matthew Mcconaughey Paramount Plus Tv Yellowstone