Yellowstone Season 5 : The Western hit will wrap up its ranching drama in 2024.
After months of speculation, we finally have an answer about Yellowstone’s future—but it may not be the ones that fans were hoping for. Earlier this year, Paramount announced that the show will conclude after the second half of season five, and now, at last, we know when those episodes will debut: November 2024. The new episodes will reportedly begin filming in late spring 2024.
It’s a disappointingly long wait for fans, who have been eagerly awaiting more Dutton drama since the show’s midseason finale in January 2023. However, the announcement also came with a bit of exciting news, as Paramount revealed that two new spin off shows will be joining the Yellowstone universe. With the working titles 1944 and 2024, the new series look poised to follow the format of previous prequels, focusing on an era of the Dutton family’s history.
It’s currently speculated that 2024 will, in fact, be the long-gestating project starring Matthew McConaughey, though no casting information was revealed in the initial announcement.
In September 2023, the show made its broadcast debut on CBS, with episodes set to air beginning from season one of Yellowstone through what’s been released of season five. It’s not currently clear when or if the network will also gain access to the second half of season five.
Here’s what we know so far about Yellowstone season five.
Is this the last season?
It’s now official—Yellowstone not will get a sixth season.
The announcement of show’s ending was the culmination of several tense months of speculation about the show’s future. In early February, Deadline reported on rumors that Yellowstone might be ending, writing, “The crux of the issue with the original Yellowstone series involves star Kevin Costner and disagreements over shooting schedules.
We are told Paramount Network has declined Costner’s most recent proposal and instead has made the decision to move on to the other show, sources said.”
Paramount’s only comment at the time seemingly denied the claims, saying, “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. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner.
However, in late March, Paramount Media Networks head Chris McCarthy did confirm that McConaughey will be joining the Yellowstone-verse, starring in a new spin-off, which the exec said will go ahead regardless of whether Costner returned to Yellowstone or not. “[Yellowstone] wouldn’t be what it is today without Kevin and we hope that that stays for a long time to come,” he added.
When will season five return?
The first half of the fifth season of Yellowstone debuted in November of 2022 and wrapped up with a mid-season finale on January 1, 2023, with the promise of six more episodes to round out the show’s super-sized, fourteen episode fifth season.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter in June 2023, Sheridan said the final half of season five will possibly have ten episodes—making season five a total of eighteen episodes. “If I think it takes 10 episodes to wrap it up, they’ll give me 10,” Sheridan said. “It’ll be as long as it needs to be.”
Paramount originally confirmed that the show would be returning some time in the summer of 2023, a date that was later moved to November, and then December, before finally being announced for November 2024.
Fans first became concerned when a scheduled panel at PaleyFest in March evidently revealed that the second half of season five had not yet even begun filming. Per Variety’s Emily Longeretta, “No update for part 2 of #Yellowstone season 5. The cast has not yet started filming or been given a start date.”
In April executive producer Stephen Kay, who has also directed for the show, indicated during a Deadline’s Contenders Television panel that filming was still not underway, saying, “Taylor is in Texas spinning hay into gold and we’re hoping we’re hoping we’ll do it soon. Everybody’s excited
Will Kevin Costner be in the final episode?
There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether Kevin Costner would make an appearance in the upcoming, now-final episodes of the series—concern about which has been further fueled by legal documents filed by the actor in his ongoing divorce proceedings with Christine Baumgartner.
In the documents, obtained by Insider in July 2023, Costner reportedly wrote, “I will earn substantially less in 2023 than I did in 2022. This is because I am no longer under contract for ‘Yellowstone,’ the principal source of my income last year.”
In a September child support hearing, Costner further stated, “I’ve been told it’s a little disappointing that [it’s] the #1 show on TV, I’m not participating,.” He added, “I will probably go to court over,” the payout for the second half of the season.
While this news doesn’t preclude the possibility of Costner joining the show for its final episodes, the fact that the actor is no longer under contract means that his presence is not guaranteed.
In May 2023, sources close to the production reportedly told Puck that Costner would not confirm his return for Yellowstone’s final episodes “until he finds out and is comfortable with,” how his character, John Dutton, is being written off.
The first few episodes of the second half of season five, Puck says, have been written to allow for the possibility of Costner appearing, as well as the possibility that he will not be involved. The publication also reported that Costner was not informed ahead of the announcement that the show would be ending.
What’s in store for season 5 ?
In September 2022, actors Cole Hauser (Rip), Kelly Reilly (Beth), and Luke Grimes (Kayce) gave Entertainment Weekly a few hints about what’s in store for the upcoming season. As one might expect, it doesn’t sound like things will be all smooth sailing for newlyweds Rip and Beth.
“What I like about what [Taylor Sheridan] wrote is that he’s slowly getting along with me and Beth this year,” Hauser said. “In the beginning, there are some wonderful moments between the two of us, there are things she’s going through in her past that she’s having to accept for the first time, and I’m trying to help her with that.”
“The war feels internal this year for her,” Reilly added, “[She’s] haunted by the past, afraid for the future and fighting with all she has for the present moment.”
However, it doesn’t seem like the couple is in any danger of breaking up. Per Reilly, “Beth has always been devoted to Rip. Marriage doesn’t change that. I think her love for him and his love for her is one of the few things that keeps her demons at arm’s length (mostly). Keeps it away.”
As for Kayce, his own struggles don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon after his dramatic vision at the end of season four. “In true Kayce fashion, there’s no respite from the rock and hard place he’s in,” Grimes said.
In August 2022, star Kevin Costner spoke to Extra about the ever-present rumors of John dying, with Costner saying, “I don’t want to die… there’s just too much to do. In the context of this story, I Don’t know where he’s going to go… I haven’t really thought about it.” He also said, “I think [show creator Taylor Sheridan] is doing a really high level of writing. I’ll say no when I don’t want to do it anymore.”
In June 2022, Kelly Reilly, who plays the brilliant cut-throat Beth Dutton on the show, spoke to Vulture about season five and dropped some tantalizing hints about the next season. In response to the question of whether John Dutton would win the Montana governorship, as he said in season four, Reilly said, “I would say that as the state gets bigger, it becomes more difficult to manage.”
Meanwhile, although some obvious villains have been taken off the board in season four, she says there are plenty of new rivals coming after Dutton and his farm, some of which reflect the real world. “They’re coming. They’re trespassing. This is exactly what’s happening in Montana. It’s being bought by billionaires.”
The cast is expanding.
In June 2022, it was announced that Josh Lucas will be returning as the younger version of John Dutton, as will Kylie Rogers (who plays young Beth) and Kyle Red Silverstein as young Rip, so it seems we’ll be getting some flashbacks from the family’s past. Jacki Weaver, who played the family’s corporate adversary Caroline Warner, will also be returning, while Mo Brings Plenty (Rainwater’s right hand man, Mo) and Wendy Moniz (Governor Lynelle Perry) have been upped to series regulars.
Some new faces will also join the season. Kai Caster, who fans may know from American Horror Story, will play a young cowboy known as Rowdy, Lainey Wilson as a musician, Lilli Kay (Your Honor and Rustin) will play an assistant to the Duttons, and Dawn Olivieri—perhaps best known to Taylor Sheridan fans as James Dutton’s sister Claire on 1883—will take on a new persona in the Yellowstone universe as the corporate shark Sarah Atwood.
It was previously announced that Jen Landon, who plays Teeter, and Kathryn Kelly, who plays Jimmy’s new fiancee Emily, have been upped to series regulars for the season. Jefferson White, sho plays Jimmy, is also set to return to the show, leaving earlier speculation that he could be moving the spin-off show 6666 still up in the air. Neither Kelly nor White appeared in the first half of the show’s fifth season.
Along with White, Yellowstone’s core cast is expected to return, with Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Forrie Smith, Denim Richards, Ian Bohen, Finn Little, Ryan Bingham and Gil Birmingham all announced for the fifth season.
The Yellowstone universe is growing.
In addition to the show’s fifth season, Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan has already begun to expand the show’s canon on Paramount+. In addition to the existing Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Sam Elliott-starring prequel, 1883, the streaming service also has another Yellowstone origin story set in the Great Depression era, titled 1923 starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford, which will return for a second season. Sheridan has also inked a deal for several in-development spinoffs, including the newly announced 1944 and 2024.
Like 1883 and the rest of Sheridan’s slate of upcoming projects for Paramount, the show currently operating under the working title 6666 is expected to be streaming-first on Paramount+, and though no date has yet been announced for when it may debut, according to The Atlantic, it was slated for some time in 2023. A June 2023 interview with THR, Sheridan seemingly called that timeline into question, saying, “, for a number of reasons, needs a unique level of special care because this is a real place with real families working here. You have to respect the lineage. I’ve told [the studio] to be patient.”
The synopsis released along with the show’s announcement seems to suggest that it will be set in the modern day, on the historic 6666 Ranch (the actual 266,000 acre property of which was acquired by Sheridan) in West Texas.