Everything to know about ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5, Part 2

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“Yellowstone” Season 5 has seen more drama behind the scenes than in front of the camera. Since the first half of the megahit modern Western’s fifth season ended on January 1, 2023, Paramount Network has announced that the series is ending after Part 2 and will be succeeded by a new sequel series that will potentially star Matthew McConaughey and Michelle Pfeiffer

The series is ending in large part because of a bitter conflict between star and executive producer Kevin Costner and the studio – more on that below – and at this point, co-creator and showrunner Taylor Sheridan is reportedly planning to finish the show without Costner’s involvement. 

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And there are also smaller bits of drama, like Sheridan’s company, Bosque Ranch, suing star Cole Hauser for trademark infringement over Hauser’s coffee company’s logo, and Hauser and his co-stars Kelly Reilly and Luke Grimes in reportedly tense, take-it-or-leave-it negotiations with Paramount over compensation for the sequel series. 

It’s enough to make one wonder if “Yellowstone” Season 5, Part 2 will happen at all. But as of now, it’s scheduled to premiere later this year. Here’s what you need to know about the final season of “Yellowstone.”

When will “Yellowstone” Season 5, Part 2 premiere? 

The plan is for “Yellowstone” to resume filming in late spring, shoot through the summer, and premiere in November 2024. The sequel series, which is tentatively titled “2024,” will premiere soon after. 

The second half of the season was originally slated to consist of six episodes, but the episode count is uncertain at this point; Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter, “If I think it takes 10 episodes to wrap it up, [Paramount will] give me 10. It’ll be as long as it needs to be.”

Why is “Yellowstone” ending? 

There are two main reasons why “Yellowstone” is ending. One is Kevin Costner’s exit leading to the end of the show as we know it. The other is business-related. 

The full timeline of Costner’s fight with “Yellowstone” is long and complex, but here’s what happened in a nutshell: 

News of Kevin Costner’s acrimony with “Yellowstone” broke in early 2023, when Deadline reported that the show was ending and a sequel series was in the works. Production was delayed due to a disagreement between the star and Paramount over his shooting schedule, per Puck. He was working on his passion project “Horizon”, an upcoming two-part Western film for which he serves as writer, director, producer, and star, and wanted to reduce his shooting time on “Yellowstone” to as little as one week. Paramount reportedly would not agree to this. Sheridan couldn’t finish writing the episodes until he knew Costner’s availability, so the show was at a standstill. Then the writers’ and actors’ strikes shut Hollywood down, and “Yellowstone” couldn’t have been filmed even if the dispute was settled. 

Over the summer, Costner and Sheridan had a conversation about what it would take for him to return to “Yellowstone” and bring Costner’s character John Dutton’s story to a close, according to Puck. Costner allegedly requested increased pay, a reduced schedule, and the right to review Sheridan’s scripts. Costner reportedly has a “moral death” clause in his contract, which states that John Dutton cannot be killed off in a way that would be considered embarrassing. But Sheridan balked at giving Costner creative control over his scripts, and talks fell apart. 

During his divorce proceedings in September, Costner said that Paramount reneged on a deal to accommodate his “Horizon” schedule, and he was considering legal action over it. He said it was unlikely that he would return to “Yellowstone.” 

As it stands now, Costner has not pursued legal action. According to Puck, Sheridan has written the final episodes to wrap up John Dutton’s story without Costner, and those are the scripts they’re planning to film this spring and summer. There’s still a slim possibility that Costner could return if a deal gets negotiated, but time is running out. 

“Yellowstone” is also ending for business reasons. Years ago, Paramount Global – then known as ViacomCBS – licensed the series’ streaming rights to Peacock, a decision the company’s executives regret. Ending “Yellowstone” and starting “2024” would enable Paramount to keep the new show for its streaming service, Paramount+, which is already home to Sheridan’s other shows, including “Yellowstone” prequels “1883” and “1923.” 

What will happen in “Yellowstone” Season 5, Part 2? 

The Dutton family civil war will have to come to some sort of resolution. 

Beth (Kelly Reilly) and her adopted brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) are trying to destroy each other. Jamie, who is Montana’s attorney general, called for a vote to impeach his father, the governor, on abuse of power charges. In response, Beth threatened to ruin him by revealing that he killed his biological father. But Jamie knows John has had many people killed and where their bodies are buried – the so-called “train station” on the Wyoming border – so if either sibling speaks out, it’s mutually assured destruction. 

They both believe that the only way to end the war is for one of them to die. So John has given Beth the go-ahead to kill Jamie, while Jamie has hired a hitman to kill Beth. The final showdown is on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Beth’s husband Rip (Cole Hauser) is heading to the 6666 Ranch in Texas with the ranch’s cattle, where he and some other ranch hands are taking them for safekeeping after an outbreak of disease on the Dutton Ranch. Could that be the way the spinoff gets set up? After all, if the show is going to star Matthew McConaughey, it will probably take place in Texas. We’ll see! 

Where to watch “Yellowstone” 

Season 5, Part 2 will air on Paramount Network this fall. After it completes its cable run, it will join the rest of “Yellowstone” on Peacock. 

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