You don’t need to be up to date on Yellowstone to understand the high-stakes drama surrounding the show’s upcoming sixth season. Paramount Network is dealing with a crisis surrounding its, well, paramount show, which stars Kevin Costner in a role he would be itching to leave. Even after winning a Golden Globe for season five of the show, the actor still seems desperate to get off the show – a result that could be as bad as if James Gandolfini left prematurely. The Sopranos.
Famously billed as a “dad show”, Yellowstone gained huge success over five seasons, thanks in large part to Costner’s turn as patriarch and rancher John Dutton. Under the direction of Taylor Sheridan, the series expanded from its initial audience of around 3 million viewers to a whopping average of 7-8 million. Due to YellowstoneSheridan has expanded his collaboration with Paramount, contributing to the company’s streamer with equally gritty US shows like Mayor of Kingstown, king of tulsaAnd Yellowstone spin off 1888 And 1923.
But Costner seems to have the opposite relationship with Paramount. According to Matthew Belloni at Puck, Costner demanded $1.2 million per episode for the 16-episode fifth season (for reference, the SuccessionBrian Cox earns around $400,000 per episode) and threatens a cost of $1.5 million per episode if there is a sixth season.
To make matters worse, Costner reportedly fled the set several times, before he finished shooting his scenes for blocks of the second batch of Season 5 episodes. The show reportedly struggled to make up for lost time with Costner — he reportedly only offered about a week of dates in the summer of 2023, with a few days left for pickups in the fall. The delays caused the second half of Season 5 to be postponed to November, but that’s when Season 6 was originally meant to premiere.
Costner’s attorney, Marty Singer, responded to the allegations: “The idea that Kevin was only willing to work a week on the second half of Season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie,” he told Puck. “It’s ridiculous and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for a second. As anyone who knows Kevin well knows, he is incredibly passionate about the show and has always gone above and beyond to ensure its success.
At least the feeling is mutual, allegedly. The cast, crew, executives, and even Sheridan himself were reportedly “frustrated” by Costner’s “ego and unavailability for years,” Belloni writes. So if Costner leaves the show – or, with high daytime raise demands, gets kicked out – is that really a big deal?
Simply put, yes, it would be a big deal for Paramount to lose Costner. Even though Paramount has hedged its bets on Sheridan in the feud between the two, the creator seems to be falling behind the unthinkable number of projects he’s signed on to. Buried in piles of work at Paramount+, Sheridan reportedly struggled to deliver Yellowstone scripts on time while filming Season 5, Puck reports.
Since most of the hype around Sheridan’s collaboration with Paramount stems from Yellowstoneof Paramount’s massive success, dropping the cash cow would most likely be a mistake on Paramount’s part. The so-called “Taylor Sheridan Universe” is nothing without Costner’s quirky star power on Yellowstone.
Yellowstone could try to continue without Costner. But part of Sheridan’s finesse lies in the big names he attracts for his projects: Sylvester Stallone for king of tulsaJeremy Renner for KingstownHarrison Ford and Helen Mirren for 1923. Wes Bentley is probably the second biggest name in Yellowstoneso without Costner, it would take a huge hit.
Whatever happens to Yellowstone, the drama is captivating. Just like the don’t worry darling reported fallout between director Olivia Wilde and star Florence Pugh, or the behind-the-scenes romance between CMG3 welcomes TJ Holmes and Amy Robach, the chasm that opens between Costner and Sheridan / Paramount – although it may break Yellowstone– puts all eyes on the Paramount Network show.
And this does not only apply to Yellowstoneanother point raised by Belloni in his report on Yellowstone. “It’s a larger trend,” he writes. “While bigger names work on TV series, they often don’t want to commit to series, which forces shows to change their schedules to get their stars in and out. That’s a problem at the moment. industry scale.
What other shows could he be referring to? Well, take a look at the belle of the ball on Apple TV+, Ted Lasso. Jason Sudeikis stars as the titular father figure of the mustache and compliments (the antithesis of Costner’s role in Yellowstone; again, notable that he’s also a prominent father figure), but he’s repeatedly teased that the show is set to end after three seasons. Will the series continue without Sudeikis and co-creator/star Brendan Hunt? Lasso without Sudeikis it’s like Seinfeld without Seinfeld. Office without the office.
Apple TV+ has not yet confirmed whether Ted LassoThe upcoming third season will be the last as announced by the creators and stars. But with the show premiering on March 15, they would only have weeks to wrap up the season in a tidy final act – a la Jesse Armstrong, who, before Succession’s season 4 premiere, announced that it will be the final chapter.
Seeing the discourse surrounding Ted Lassomost recent season and lackluster reviews Yellowstone received for the first half of Season 5, the shows’ actual storylines pale in comparison to the real drama at hand. Also, if this is an “industry-wide issue”, what’s next? Call it a marketing ploy or the don’t worry darling effect: Now, more than ever, I am ready to connect, even if the end is near.