1883: how to watch, recaps, cast and everything we know about the Yellowstone prequel series

1883 Tim McGraw LaMonica Garrett Sam Elliott
LaMonica Garrett, Sam Elliott and Tim McGraw in 1883 (Image credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+)

Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone is like a modern-day western, but with the prequel show 1883 he's gone back to the genre's more traditional roots.

A Paramount Plus original series, 1883 is part of the Sheridan-verse that Sheridan and Paramount is building across its platforms, covering shows direcetly tied to the popular series, like 1883 and 1923, and ones that have a similar tone and style, like Mayor of Kingstown, Tulsa King and upcoming series like Special Ops: Lioness, Land Man and Lawmen: Bass Reeves.  

Let's hitch up our wagons and head west. Here's everything you need to know about 1883.

When is the next 1883 episode?

Paramount Network's special broadcast of the Paramount Plus original series 1883 concludes with 1883 episode 10 on Sunday, August 13, at 8 pm ET/PT. Here is the synopsis for the finale, titled "This Is Not Your Heaven":

"James and Margaret face a heavy decision. Shea and Thomas take bold action to help one of their own."

How to watch 1883

If you have not seen 1883 before and want to catch it as it airs on TV in summer 2023, you're going to need to have a setup that includes Paramount Network. The cable channel is available through traditional pay-TV subscription plans as well as live TV streaming services like FuboTVHulu with Live TVSing TV and YouTube TV..

If you don't want to wait for new episodes to release each week (or don't want to deal with TV commercials), you can watch the entire series right now on Paramount Plus.

1883 plot

The Dutton family are the central characters in Yellowstone, controlling the largest swath of cattle land in the US from their home base in Montana. But have you been wondering how the Dutton family was able to seize that land and become the power brokers they are? 1883 will answer that.

The prequel series follows the Dutton family in (unsurprisingly) 1883, as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. The series is described as a stark retelling of Western expansion. It's also an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land, Montana.

1883 cast

There's a star-packed 1883 cast which includes Sam Elliott (Road House, The Big Lebowski, The Golden Compass), country music singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Isabel May (Young Sheldon) and LaMonica Garrett (Sons of Anarchy, Designated Survivor). 

1883 main cast and series regulars:

  • Sam Elliott - Shea Brennan
  • Tim McGraw - James Dutton 
  • Faith Hill - Margaret Dutton 
  • Isabel May - Elsa 
  • LaMonica Garrett - Thomas 
  • Audi Rick - John Dutton Sr.
  • Marc Rissmann - Josef
  • Eric Nelsen - Ennis
  • James Landry Hébert - Wade

Additional 1883 cast members:
Dawn Olivieri, Emma Malouff, Alex Fine, Gratiela Brancusi, Nichole Galicia, Stephanie Nuir, Amanda Jaros, Noah Le Gros and Martin Sensmeier.

1883 guest stars:

  • Tom Hanks appears as Civil War General George Meade, who assumed temporary command of the Union forces during the Battle of Antietam. He appears in a flashback to Antietam — where Tim McGraw's James Dutton fought as a Confederate soldier.
  • Rita Wilson guest stars, just like husband Tom Hanks, who briefly appeared in episode 2 of 1883. Wilson plays Carolyn, a shopkeeper who connects with Margaret (Faith Hill).
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Tombstone, Sling Blade, Bad Santa) plays Marshal Jim Courtright, also known as "Longhair Jim", a Sheriff in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Oscar-nominee Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves), who previously worked with Taylor Sheridan on the movie Wind River, plays Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder who aides the Duttons on their journey.
  • Creator, Taylor Sheridan pops up briefly as Charles Goodnight, a rancher who hunts cattle thieves.

See how some of these characters are connected to the characters in 1923 and Yellowstone with our Dutton family tree.

1883 trailer

Paramount Plus released an extended-look trailer, which offers more narration from Elsa (Isabel May) about the adventures of the Dutton family on their travels west. Give it a watch below.

1883 recaps

Here are the synopsis for each episode to 1883 and links to our recaps for them:

1883 episode 1, "1883"
"The Dutton family embarks westward through the last bastion of untamed America. James arrives in Texas, where he and his family prepare to make their way through The Great Plains in search of a new home and the promise of opportunity." Read WTW's 1883 episode 1 recap.

1883 episode 2, "Behind Us, a Cliff"
"Thomas and Shea recruit James and some local cowboys to corral a herd of cattle. As they begin their journey, the caravan is confronted with some of the many dangers they will face along the way. Read WTW's 1883 episode 2 recap.

1883 episode 3, "River"
"James butts heads with Shea and Thomas about an important decision. Tensions rise in camp when an accusation is made. Elsa begins a flirtation with a cowboy."
Read WTW's 1883 episode 3 recap.

1883 episode 4, "The Crossing"
"The group faces the harrowing task of crossing the river with their wagons and supplies. Thomas and Noemi grow closer." Read an in-depth recap of 1883 episode 4 recap.

1883 episode 5, "The Fangs of Freedom"
"Shea and Thomas cope with the aftermath of the river crossing, but there is little time to grieve and no shortage of challenges ahead. Elsa and Ennis share a romantic moment." Read WTW's 1883 episode 5 recap.

1883 episode 6, "Boring the Devil"
"Shea helps Elsa cope with her loss. The group crosses another river and prepares to enter Indian territory. Thomas buys Noemi a gift." Read WTW's 1883 episode 6 recap.

1883 episode 7, "Lightning Yellow Hair"
"Elsa makes an unlikely friend; the group faces a harrowing challenge from mother nature; the camp searches for one of their own." Read WTW's 1883 episode 7 recap.

1883 episode 8, "The Weep of Surrender"
"Elsa makes a big decision. Shea faces doubts as winter looms." Read WTW's 1883 episode 8 recap.

1883 episode 9, "Racing Clouds"
"A misunderstanding leads to a battle with serious consequences." Read WTW's 1883 episode 9 recap.

1883 episode 10, "This Is Not Your Heaven"
"James and Margaret face a heavy decision. Shea and Thomas take bold action to help one of their own." Read WTW's 1883 episode 10 recap.

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 Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.