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When Yellowstone debuted in 2018, no one would've expected it to reach the success it has. With Kevin Costner leading the cast as patriarch John Dutton, viewers fell in love with his family's story and the trials he endured to keep his Montana horse ranch thriving. Throw in his kids' own tribulations in love and identity, it bred a drama that folks continue tuning into on Paramount Network.
But that was just the beginning for Yellowstone. As the fanbase grew, so did the stories. 1883 premiered in December 2021 on Paramount+ with much success, as did 1923 when it dropped on the streamer the following year. But above all, people still love the original series, with Kevin as the face of all things Dutton-related.
Over the last few months, though, things have changed in terms of how Yellowstone is approaching its most recent season. After the first eight episodes of season 5 part 1 finishing airing in January, folks have asked when part 2 will be released. But in the midst of waiting for a release date, rumors swirled that it would be the last episodes ever. Although it was difficult for fans to come to grips with the possibility, Yellowstone is saying goodbye this year.
Why is Yellowstone canceled after season 5?
Speculation about Yellowstone getting canceled after season 5 began back in February. At the time, Deadline wrote that Kevin requested to film the remaining season 5 episodes in one week, with Paramount Network reportedly "declining" his request. This apparently led to Taylor choosing to end Yellowstone once the new six episodes wrapped.
Shortly thereafter, Paramount Network released a statement on the rumors, stating their hopes for Kevin to continue with the show. "We have no news to report," a Paramount Network spokesperson told the outlet. "Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come."
The TV network doubled down on this sentiment at the show's PaleyFest panel in April, which Kevin didn't attend. According to Variety, Paramount Network development president Keith Cox told audience members that he was "very confident" that the actor was still committed to the series and hoped that production would begin soon.
But on May 5, news broke that Yellowstone will officially end after season 5. According to Deadline, Paramount Network shared the Taylor Sheridan-created show will wrap up with the final season 5 episodes air later this November. In addition, the outlet confirmed that an untitled sequel will replace the drama and debut sometime in December.
As for who will star in the upcoming series, nothing is confirmed yet. But the outlet offered the clue that Matthew McConaughey is expected to be the face of the spin-off, along with "a handful of original Yellowstone cast members." This checks out with earlier reports, which noted that there were still plans to move forward if Kevin decided not return to Yellowstone.
“Yellowstone has been the cornerstone on which we have launched an entire universe of global hits," Chris McCarthy, CEO of MTV Entertainment Studios, said in an official announcement, per USA Today. "I am confident our Yellowstone sequel will be another big hit."
Whether Kevin will leave the show, it's hard to say. There hasn't been much insight about the actor coming back to portray the newly appointed Montana governor. But he has been vocal about his excitement over his new drama Horizon: An American Saga, including a recent Instagram post about it. "The epic that keeps getting more epic," he wrote on May 1.
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