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1883: The Bass Reeves Story — everything we know about the Yellowstone spinoff series

David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo is playing legendary lawman Bass Reeves in a new Paramount Plus original series. (Image credit: Joe Maher/Getty Images for Paramount+)

The Yellowstone universe, led by creator Taylor Sheridan, is ever expanding with 1883: The Bass Reeves Story set to be another new entry. This limited series that is going to be a Paramount Plus original series stars David Oyelowo as the historic 19th-century lawman.

As its title suggests, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story is going to take place during the same time period as the previous hit Yellowstone prequel 1883 (the answer to what Paramount Plus meant when they said we would be getting more 1883). It’s not the only upcoming spinoff, as there’s also 1923, a sequel to 1883 that continues to tell the stories of past generations of Duttons; Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone; Lioness, Land Man and 6666 are also on the horizon.

But we’re talking about 1883: The Bass Reeves Story right now, so here’s everything we know about the new western limited series.

When is the 1883: The Bass Reeves Story release date?

It’s currently TBD when 1883: The Bass Reeves Story arrives for viewers, but at the very least we know that it is going to be available exclusively on Paramount Plus whenever it does premiere.

Fall 2022 is already going to be a busy time for Yellowstone and its spinoffs. In addition to Yellowstone season 5 premiering on November 13, Tulsa King is also debuting on November 13, while 1923 is then launching in December. 

Will Paramount Plus try to squeeze Bass Reeves into 2022 as well, or hold on to it until 2023? Don’t know yet, but we’ll update this page as soon as release info becomes available.

Who is in the 1883: The Bass Reeves Story cast?

To date, there is only one confirmed cast member for 1883: The Bass Reeves Story — David Oyelowo, who is playing Reeves.

Oyelowo’s list of credits include roles in movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Red Tails, Lincoln, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, A Most Violent Year, A United Kingdom, Queen of Katwe and most notably Selma as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On TV, he has appeared in Star Wars: Rebels, The Girl Before and was nominated for an Emmy for his work in the TV movie Nightingale.

Who is Bass Reeves?

So just who is Bass Reeves?

Bass Reeves (opens in new tab) is a real-life lawman from the Wild West and one of the first Black deputy US Marshals, given the position in 1875. It is recorded that Reeves killed 14 outlaws and apprehended more than 3,000 throughout his career as he worked a region of 75,000 square miles of Indian Territory (modern-day Kansas and Oklahoma). He is considered one of the greatest frontier lawmen in history and is believed to have been an inspiration for the character of the Lone Ranger. 

What is the 1883: The Bass Reeves Story plot?

No plot details have been shared on 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, but the title can give us a few clues. Presuming that the story will take place primarily in 1883, that would be eight years into Reeves’ career as a deputy US Marshal, meaning that he had likely already established a healthy reputation for himself.  

Who is directing 1883: The Bass Reeves Story?

Taylor Sheridan is serving as an executive producer on 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, as is Oyelowo and his wife Jessica, but the Yellowstone creator has also been set as the director for the first two episodes of the series. Deadline (opens in new tab) reported the news.

As for who is going to be directing the remaining four episodes of the limited series, that is still unknown, but Oyelowo told Deadline during an event for the launch of Paramount Plus in the UK that he hopes to fill the remaining episodes with a diverse lineup of directors.

"We have to populate the show with a bunch of Black people to make sure that going forward the next Taylors are Black and brown and that there’s a bunch of them, so that it doesn’t become a scarcity of the top-flight Black directors."

Is there an 1883: The Bass Reeves Story trailer?

No, there is no trailer for the 1883: The Bass Reeves Story as of yet.

Michael Balderston
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.