Now that the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes are in the rear-view mirror, cameras are up and rolling once more on projects that were frozen over the summer and fall months of 2023. Some of those series will return before 2024 ends, and “Yellowstone” is indeed among them.
It was revealed in November 2023 that “Yellowstone” Season 5 Part 2 is slated to debut in November 2024. That means it will likely be wrapping up completely in 2025. The first eight episodes of Season 5 aired from November 2022 to January 2023, leaving six more outings to be scripted and completed. After that, the franchise’s many spin-offs and tie-ins, including the recently greenlit “1944” and “2024,” will continue airing.
It’s not just the strikes that managed to gum up the works at Paramount Network. An ongoing dispute between soon-to-be-former series lead Kevin Costner and Paramount and the currently undecided fate of series patriarch John Dutton have left the series’ conclusion hanging in uncertain limbo.
Yellowstone’s final episodes have been a long time coming
Multiple situations have sandbagged progress on the completion of “Yellowstone” Season 5. The show was originally set to air the last few episodes in the summer and fall of 2023, but those plans were waylaid after a dispute occurred between Kevin Costner and producers over how many days the actor would need to work to complete shooting. Sources told Deadline in February 2023 that Costner wanted to work for only 50 days on the first half of Season 5, and a sole week on the second. Months of hemming and hawing led to the news that Costner ultimately wouldn’t be returning to the series, and that Season 5 would be the end of “Yellowstone.”
A later Deadline report revealed that Costner claimed he’d been offered $24 million to do Seasons 5 through 7 of the series during his September 2023 divorce hearing. The actor said that creative differences caused Paramount to leave the negotiating table. Costner also declared at the hearing that he may go to court over what he feels he’s contractually owed for the latter half of Season 5. At the center of the conflict is Costner’s upcoming two-part western epic, “Horizon: An American Saga,” which is slated to be released to theaters in halves during the summer of 2024. Costner required a shorter “Yellowstone” shooting schedule to prepare and produce the films, which he also directed and has an onscreen role in.
Plenty of other “Yellowstone” spin-off projects are slated to continue in a John Dutton-free format, but time will tell if this resculpting succeeds.