The 'Yellowstone' universe: A definite guide to Taylor Sheridan's world of western dramas
Taylor Sheridan took the world by storm with the 2018 series ‘Yellowstone’. No one expected the show to be that good, but western drama exceeded all the expectations and is currently in the middle of its fifth season. However, it’s not the only show that has managed to make the ‘Yellowstone’ universe a rage among fans. Sheridan’s hard work has paid off and he thought of capitalizing on it by expanding the show into a franchise. As of writing this piece, the creator has taken the aforementioned universe to greater heights by releasing a couple of spin-offs in recent years and is already gearing up to introduce more of it.
Now, it’s understandable that keeping a track of every series in this universe is a little difficult, and with ‘1923’ already been renewed for Season 2, the universe is only going to get bigger. The world of ‘Yellowstone’ is filled with big stars, but all the shows, except ‘Yellowstone’, are titled in numbers and people fail to understand why the creator has chosen these numbers to be the working title.
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So, let’s take a look at ‘Yellowstone’ universe in-depth and get to know what does future looks like for the aforementioned universe.
All the shows in 'Yellowstone' universe (in chronological order)
Set in 1883, the prequel series primarily focused on the early generations of Duttons. In this spin-off, viewers saw the journey of Civil War veteran James Dutton (Tim McGraw) and his family into the wilderness of the west for a new beginning. In this journey, he is joined by his wife Margaret (Faith Hill), daughter Elsa (Isabel May), and son John (Auten Rick). The spin-off series also gave viewers a glimpse into how they started the journey to build a ranch and why that area of Montana became synonymous with the Duttons.
The series went on to receive rave reviews from critics as well as audiences. It was praised for its storytelling and acting performances. Sadly, the show won’t be returning for another season because Sheridan feels that it was intended to be a limited series.
The latest spin-off in the ‘Yellowstone’ universe sees Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford portraying an entirely different generation of the Duttons and presenting a fresh perspective. Set in 1923, the series picks up 40 years after the events of ‘1883’ and sees Jacob Dutton (Ford) and his wife Cara (Mirren) guiding the ranch through the early stages of the Great Depression. For the uninitiated, ‘Yellowstone’ hasn’t been set up in the series yet, but we know that Jacob Dutton holds a small piece of land or ranch that will become ‘Yellowstone’ ranch one day.
Like always, ‘1923’ is another blockbuster series in the franchise and a solid addition to Sheridan’s universe. The show has already been renewed for a second season and it is set to take the story forward with Ford and Mirren returning.
This is where everything started and ‘Yellowstone’ continues to be one of the most extraordinary shows on Television right now. Set in the present times, the 2018 series follows John Dutton (Kevin Costner) owning and running the ‘Yellowstone’ ranch, making it one of the strongest ranches in the entire country. He feels that he won’t let these big corporates take their lands and ruin the beauty of Montana. The series features amazing actors such as Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler), Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton), and Wes Bentley (Jamie Dutton) in pivotal roles.
The show currently holds a rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 8.7 on IMDb. Currently, the show is in between the fifth season and will return with new episodes in the Summer of 2023.
Did any show get canceled?
Well, we can’t call it that it has been canceled, but we know that ‘1883’ won’t be returning for Season 2. The spin-off series was a blockbuster hit for Paramount+ and Sheridan and paved the way for future spin-offs as well. In an interview given to Deadline, he made it clear that ‘1883’ is a different story and doesn’t think that the series needs another set of episodes.
“I created this peek through time to show you this one specific journey. I’m not someone who likes to tie everything up in a bow and explain how everyone lived happily after or didn’t. I’d rather you imagine it and wonder what Thomas and Noemi made of their lives...On to the next peek through the window,” Sheridan said.
Upcoming ‘Yellowstone’ spin-offs
‘1883: The Bass Reeves Story’
First things first, this will not be a continuation of the prequel series mentioned above. It will be an entirely different story focusing on new characters. The series will chronicle the journey of a man named Bass Reeves, who was born a slave in Arkansas in 1830 and had to face a lot of difficulties while growing up. The six-part miniseries will also focus on his journey to becoming the first Black US Marshal to serve west of the Mississippi. The series is based on a real man of the same name who arrested 3,000 criminals in his lifetime and killed 14 outlaws during his years as a marshal. He is known to be one of the most successful lawmen in the history of the United States.
‘Selma’ star David Oyelowo will be playing the role of Bass Reeves in the series while popular actor Dennis Quaid has also joined the cast as Deputy US Marshal Sherrill Lynn.
No release date has been announced as of yet, but reports suggest that it might arrive last 2023.
One of the highly anticipated shows in the ‘Yellowstone’ universe, ‘6666’ is poised to be a huge success. But it’s also very peculiar because all the other spin-offs have been tracking different eras of the Dutton family. ‘1883’ saw the Dutton putting the foundation stone for the ‘Yellowstone’ ranch while ‘1923’ documented an important time in the history of the Duttons. But ‘6666’ is pretty different but plays an integral part in the ‘Yellowstone’ universe.
If you are a lover of ‘Yellowstone’, then you’ll realize ‘6666’ is the cattle ranch where Jimmy (Jefferson White) is sent to in Season 4 of the show after he suffers a tragic accident and needs to be sure if he can be a successful cowboy or not. But not a lot of people know that ‘6666’ (pronounced four-sixes) is actually a real ranch based out of Texas and was established by Samuel Burk Burnett in 1900. However, the most fascinating part of all this is that Taylor Sheridan is now the “actual” owner of this legendary ranch. In 2021, Sheridan and an investor group brought the ‘6666’ ranch for a whopping amount of $341.7 million.
Although Sheridan hasn’t announced the plot of the upcoming series, but it’s safe to say that it might feature Jimmy in a prominent role because he spent an awful amount of time on that ranch during Season 4.
What does the future hold for ‘Yellowstone’ universe?
The future is looking really bright for the universe created by Sheridan and it’s not just because of how the new shows keep on coming. It’s also because of the stories he is choosing to tell the viewers. When ‘Yellowstone’ began, viewers wanted to know about the past of the Dutton family and he did exactly that in ‘1883’. Now, he knows that there’s a lot of gap between ‘1883’ and ‘Yellowstone’ and some really big stuff might have happened in between, so he came out with ‘1923’. The Harrison Ford-Helen Mirren starrer gave viewers a new perspective on how the Dutton family struggled during the end of prohibition and had to fight for their land.
Such stories created an impact on the minds of viewers and drew them in. The introduction of ‘1883: The Bass Reeves Story’ and ‘6666’ is the beginning of a new era in which real-life stories will be prominent. The angle of retelling these real-life stories will be an added advantage for Sheridan and the universe because people would definitely want to know about the characters and the stories behind those characters.
The future is really promising for the ‘Yellowstone’ universe and everyone has faith in Sheridan’s creative mind. So, buckle up, because this universe is just getting started.