Yellowstone S05 Update; Taylor Sheridan Talks Influences, Neo-Westerns

Back in February, fans of Taylor Sheridan and John Linson's Yellowstone received some not surprising but still fantastic news when Paramount Global announced that it was saddling up for a fifth season of Dutton family drama. In addition, they learned that not only were Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Forrie Smith, Denim Richards, Ian Bohen, Finn Little, Ryan Bingham, and Gil Birmingham all confirmed to return but also that guest stars Jen Landon & Kathryn Kelly were upped to series regulars. Now a little more than two months later, we're getting an update on how production is looking as well as Sheridan sharing some of his influences as well as his thoughts on the new wave of "Neo-Westerns" in a new Variety profile.

Image: Paramount Global

"Yellowstone" Season 5 Update: With production still on track to kick off this May, the fifth season is looking at a late summer premiere. When the show does return, it will pick up where the previous season left off as John (Costner) makes a run for governor. And as cable & streaming styles continue to merge, viewers will be getting the 14-episode season in two, 7-episode parts, volumes, or whatever official phrasing they choose.

On His Western Influences: "I was very influenced by writers like Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Toni Morrison, who wrote about the time around the Civil War, which is obviously very similar themes. There's a lot of Westerns about it. And in terms of the movies that influenced me, it was watching 'Unforgiven' when I was in my late teens or very early 20s. The same with 'Dances With Wolves,' where you're looking at the Western genre through a whole new lens that had never been explored before."

On the Newest Wave of "Yellowstone"-Influenced Neo-Westerns Being Flattering: "So I don't know that it's flattering, because I don't think they're doing it because 'Yellowstone' is good. They're doing it because 15 million people watch it. And they're like: 'A lot of people watch Westerns. Let's make Westerns.'"

Yellowstone || image courtesy of the Paramount Network
Yellowstone || image courtesy of the Paramount Network

Yellowstone chronicles the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the United States. Amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds, and hard-earned respect – the ranch is in constant conflict with those it borders – an expanding town, an Indian reservation, and America's first national park. Sheridan, Linson, and Costner executive produce, alongside Art Linson, David C. Glasser, Bob Yari, and Stephen Kay. And while it wouldn't take longer than a 10-second Google search to see just how impressive of a four-season run the Paramount Network series has had so far. Looking at the fourth season, the premiere episode garnered over 14 million total viewers, with the finale delivering over 15 million total viewers. The series has also helped make Sheridan a major creative name in cable & streaming, with Yellowstone leading to other series such as the recently-renewed Mayor of Kingstown, "Yellowstone" prequel series 1883, the recently announced Kansas City, and more in development.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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