Amid rumors of Kevin Costner exit, ‘Yellowstone’ will end later this year

A man in a cowboy hat and suit, with mountains behind him
Kevin Costner in “Yellowstone.”

After weeks of speculation about the future of the blockbuster series, including reports of behind-the-scenes drama and a PaleyFest no-show, it’s official: “Yellowstone” will conclude with its current fifth season, Paramount announced Friday.

The second half of the fifth season of the series, which stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the head of the largest cattle ranch in the country, will premiere in November. The company also announced Friday that an untitled sequel series will premiere in December on Paramount Network and stream on Paramount+ — unlike “Yellowstone” proper, which streams on Peacock.

The new show will continue the story of the Dutton family with an as-yet-unannounced cast. The news comes on the heels of reports that Costner would not return to the series after Season 5, as well as news that the Oscar-winning actor and his wife of 18 years, Christine Baumgartner, were getting divorced.


Asked if Costner’s involvement in the franchise would continue beyond “Yellowstone” Season 5, a Paramount spokesperson declined to comment. The spokesperson also declined to comment on reports that Matthew McConaughey has been tapped to star in the sequel.

“Kevin Costner is a big part of ‘Yellowstone’ and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come,” the company said in a statement to The Times in February, when Deadline first reported that the series was eyeing an endgame. “Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built.”

Since its premiere in 2018, the western-flavored “Yellowstone” has become arguably the most popular series on television. The season premiere last November attracted more than 17 million viewers. The series has already launched two spinoffs about the Dutton clan, “1883” and “1923.”

In recent months, though, speculation that the series might come to an end has been accompanied by reports of tension between co-creators Costner and Sheridan, a key figure in the expansion of Paramount’s “Yellowstone” universe.

The rumors were fueled last month when Sheridan, Costner and other members of the main cast failed to appear at the Paley Center for Media’s annual PaleyFest in Los Angeles as originally scheduled, disappointing hundreds of fans who had purchased tickets for the event.

Costner is reportedly in the middle of helming and starring in a four-film series “Horizon: An American Saga,” which has been in production in Utah.