Final ‘Yellowstone’ episodes delayed until late 2024

Dual strikes by actors and screenwriters interrupted filming on series’ final episodes

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The long-awaited final instalment of Yellowstone — which will feature Kevin Costner’s last appearance as patriarch John Dutton III — has been delayed until November 2024, the Paramount Network announced this week.

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Originally scheduled to return this month, Paramount said the show’s return will be delayed because production was interrupted by this year’s dual strikes by actors and screenwriters. The first half of the fifth season debuted in November 2022.

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Paramount also announced two additional spinoffs, another prequel dubbed 1944 and a sequel to the current series, called 2024.

Yellowstone has been a huge success for the Paramount Network. It’s already spawned two spinoffs — 1883 and 1923. According to The Associated Press, the Season 5 premiere was watched by 12.1 million people, more than for any other scripted series airing at the time.

“Within five years, we grew Yellowstone from a hit U.S. cable show with five million viewers into a global hit franchise with over 100 million fans around the world and multiple extensions — and, we’re just getting started,” Chris McCarthy, President/CEO, Showtime & MTV Entertainment Studios, said in a statement.

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“On the heels of 1883 and 1923’s success, our new planned spinoffs, 1944 and 2024, will take audiences on a thrilling, new and unexpected journey with the complex and compelling storytelling that has become a hallmark of the franchise and has helped turn it into a worldwide cultural phenomenon — thanks to the creative mastermind of Taylor Sheridan.”

Yellowstone is a contemporary Western drama that follows the Duttons, a wealthy family in Montana led by John Dutton III that owns the largest ranch in the United States. It’s co-created by Taylor Sheridan (Wind River, Hell or High Water and Sicario).

In an interview with the Sun last year, 1923 star Harrison Ford said Sheridan’s 16-episode prequel — which focuses on an early generation of the Duttons — provided a useful lesson to understanding America’s harsh, and at times unforgiving history.

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“It’s interesting to develop a more cogent and complicated understanding of what that mythology is based on,” Ford said. “It’s useful to know history. It’s important to know how things got to where they are now. We have a lot of challenges to face. These stories help us understand how we might acquit ourselves to meet those challenges.”

Costner echoed Ford’s comments, saying Yellowstone was a hit because it traced a story that gave viewers a glimpse into America’s ambitious beginnings.

“We see freeways and cities now, but if you roll back about 120 years, you were out here by yourself. How you made it or didn’t would depend sometimes on your decisions and most of the time on just luck. There was no law, there was no army, we were taking away land from people that have lived there for thousands of years,” the Oscar-winner said in an interview with The Associated Press last fall. “I think to myself, ‘My God, what made people keep coming West?’ They sometimes didn’t share the same language, they were from different countries in Europe. When I see it in its rawest form, I’m inspired by it, I’m in awe of it. I realize that what made people cross the country was nothing but hope of something better than where they came from.”

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