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'1883': Cast, trailer and everything we know about the ‘Yellowstone’ prequel series

1883 Paramount Plus
(Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone is more of a modern-day western, but he’s going back to the genre’s more traditional roots with the new series 1883, which serves as a prequel to Yellowstone.

1883 is an upcoming Paramount Plus original series. Along with Mayor of Kingstown (also created by Sheridan), 1883 is part of the “Yellowstone universe” that ViacomCBS is building across its platforms.

Let’s hitch up our wagons and head west; here is everything you need to know about 1883.

What is the plot of ‘1883’?

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

The new 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 being described as a stark retelling of Western expansion and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land, Montana.

No specific information is available yet on any episodes, though the first season it is expected to consist of 10 episodes.

Who is in the ‘1883’ cast?

Starring in 1883 will be a principal group of actors that include Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Isabel May, LaMonica Garrett and Billy Bob Thornton. Here is the full list of series regulars, as well as who they are all playing:

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

Additional cast members recently announced by Paramount Plus include Dawn Olivieri, Emma Malouff, Alex Fine, Gratiela Brancusi, Nichole Galicia, Stephanie Nuir, Amanda Jaros, Noah Le Gros and Martin Sensmeier.

When is the ‘1883’ release date?

1883 is set to arrive on Paramount Plus Dec. 19. It is unclear if Paramount Plus will make multiple episodes available right on Dec. 19, but even if so, don’t expect more than the first couple, as the streamer has typically released episodes of its original dramas weekly.

When 1883 premieres, fans of Taylor Sheridan will have their full, as Yellowstone, Mayor of Kingstown and 1883 should all be releasing new episodes are least for a little bit.

Also: Jeremy Renner on 'Mayor of Kingstown'

Is there a ‘1883’ trailer?

Paramount Plus released the first trailer for 1883 on Nov. 7, with the premiere episodes of Yellowstone season 4. Give it a watch below.

There is also now an extended trailer, which offers more narration from Isabel May's Elsa about the dangers and adventure of the Dutton family's travels west. Watch below.

How to watch ‘1883’

With 1883 being a Paramount Plus original series, the drama series will only be available to watch via the Paramount Plus streaming service; at least at this time, it is not known if 1883 will get a simulcast on Paramount Network like Mayor of Kingstown will have for its premiere episode on Nov. 14.

Paramount Plus offers two subscription options: a $4.99 per month ad-supported plan and a $9.99 per month ad-free plan. While there are some differences between the two as far as available content (the $4.99 plan does not offer access to local CBS stations), 1883 will be available to subscribers of either plan.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.