One of the best shows of the past couple years has been Yellowstone, which also has spent its first three seasons living on the Paramount Network cable channel and not on something more mainstream.
But the world in which Yellowstone lives and breathes is about to get a lot larger thanks to the launch of Paramount+ on March 4. It's a rebranding and expansion of CBS All Access and brings the greater ViacomCBS family under one roof for the first time. You might have missed it before, but there's absolutely no way of avoiding it now — especially given the spinoffs that also are on the way.
Yellowstone was co-created by John Linson and Taylor Sheridan, the latter of whom has very much become the face of the series. He's a writer — you know his work from the films Sicario and Hell or High Water. He's also been an actor — you've seen him in Veronica Mars and Sons of Anarchy. Dude has been around, and he's setting the scene for the next generation of series in the Yellowstone world, coming to Paramount+ this year as part of the massive expansion of original content.
"I was always fascinated when I came up with the story of Yellowstone about how do we make it bigger, and expand it," Sheridan says in a promo video shown alongside the Paramount+ launch.
Yellowstone: 1883 got a quick teaser on Feb. 7 during Super Bowl LV. It follows the Dutton family as they make their way west through the Great Plains. The show is being billed as "a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one."
"What an opportunity to witness the first new Duttons to come to Montana," Sheridan says. "And we see them when they were homesteading. ... It really is the beginning of an empire before it was an empire."
Then there's Land Man. It's set in West Texas and is "a modern-day tale of fortune seeking in the world of oil rigs."
"It really focuses on greed," Sheridan says. "The very best and the very worst of man — of humanity — and that is a worth telling and exploring.
Mayor of Kingstown already has some serious star power behind it — director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Southpaw) also is executive producing, and actor Jeremy Renner is on board. And Sheridan's elevator pitch is as compelling as can be.
It's "a look at America's greatest failures, encapsulated in one city." That city is Kingstown, Mich. (Yes, it's a real city, north of Detroit.) "As this town is dying," Sheridan says, "it is completely dependent on the prison system. It's mirrored through the disintegration of a family."
And that's a topic that is very real today. The official line is that it tackles "themes of systemic racism, corruption and inequality" and "provides a stark look at their attempt to bring order and justice to a town that has neither."
There's one more Yellowstone spinoff in the works that didn't get any real sort of a teaser beyond the description and the working title — 6666. The "Four Sixes" is still around today in Guthrie, Texas, (that's about halfway between Dallas and Lubbock), and the spinoff will tells the story of the storied ranch "where the rule of law and the laws of nature merge in a place where the most dangerous thing one does is the next thing."
So, yeah, the world of Yellowstone indeed is growing, and it's growing all under one roof.
"Paramount Plus is the future of our industry," Sheridan says in closing. "We share the same vision. We want to tell these stories, and we will do that."
Yellowstone proper already is on our list of the best shows on Paramount+. And there's a good chance that some of these new ones will be, too.
Paramount Plus is available for $9.99 a month without advertising in the on-demand content, and $5.99 if you don't mind advertising. (A $4.99 plan that doesn't include a live stream of local CBS affiliates will be available in June.) Current CBS All Access subscribers will automatically be transitioned over and will keep their current $5.99 pricing. There's also a Paramount+ free trial.
You can watch Paramount+ on Roku, on Amazon Fire TV and everywhere else you've enjoyed CBS All Access. That also includes Android TV and Apple TV, iOS and Android devices, smart TVs, and on the web.
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