Is Yellowstone ending? Kevin Costner drama could result in a spinoff

Kevin Costner in Yellowstone
Kevin Costner in Yellowstone (Image credit: Paramount Network)

Is the sun setting on Yellowstone and Kevin Costner's John Dutton? According to multiple reports, it just might. As fans of the hit western await the summer return of Yellowstone season 5, the future of the flagship show of Taylor Sheridan's growing empire has been put into question.

Deadline (opens in new tab) was the first to report Sheridan and Paramount "are moving to end their signature show in its current form." The reason apparently has to do with Kevin Costner's schedule. Both Deadline and Variety (opens in new tab) cite sources that say Costner is not as available to shoot the show as he works on his own western epic, Horizon, which he is directing and starring in, as well as serving as a co-writer with Jon Baird.

Costner's John Dutton is the main character of the show, for which the actor recently won a Golden Globe for his performance. So despite the likes of Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, Wes Bentley, Gil Birmingham and more making up the cast, it would be surprising for the show to continue in its current iteration without him. 

Outside of the second half of season 5, there has been no word on whether Yellowstone was going to continue beyond this season anyway.

The second part of all this is that if Costner were to exit and the main Yellowstone show came to an end, a spinoff could already be in the planning stages with another A-lister onboard to star — Matthew McConaughey. Deadline describes the potential spinoff as a "franchise extension," with some members of the current Yellowstone cast possibly continuing in a new story.

For Paramount's part, it provided the following statement to both outlets in relation to the story:

"We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that's the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner."

The Yellowstone universe has already expanded with two prequel series, 1883 and the currently airing 1923. Sheridan is also behind a number of other shows that are streaming or are set to stream exclusively on Paramount Plus, including Tulsa King, Lioness, Bass Reeves and more.

Yellowstone is one of the most popular shows on cable TV right now, so should its time be coming to an end it would certainly be a big deal for all of its fans.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).