'Yellowstone’ finally begins production on the end of season 5

Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton and Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler sit in the grass on Yellowstone season 5
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

The long wait for new episodes of “Yellowstone” may be a little closer to ending. Paramount Network has announced that the show is back in production for what’s technically the second half of its fifth season, although considering that the first half of the fifth season concluded back in January 2023, this might as well be a new season as far as viewers are concerned.

It’ll also be the final season of “Yellowstone,” whose ending was announced in May 2024. That doesn’t mean that the story of the Dutton family is over, though. The dispute between producers and star Kevin Costner is widely believed to be the main reason for the show to end since Costner won’t be around to play patriarch John Dutton anymore. 

A spin-off series that’s essentially a “Yellowstone” continuation, potentially starring Matthew McConaughey, has been in the works for a while, and it’s likely that many of the current “Yellowstone” stars will return for that show. Main cast members Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes and Cole Hauser are among the actors reportedly in talks to reprise their roles.

Kevin Costner (L) may be replaced by Matthew McConaughey (R) in Yellowstone

(Image credit: Credit: Michael Tullberg/Gary Miller/Getty)

That new series will be the latest addition to the ongoing “Yellowstone” universe, which includes a second season of prequel series “1923” starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, plus new prequel series “1944” and long-in-the-works spin-off “6666,” featuring characters on the Four Sixes Ranch. Creator Taylor Sheridan will no doubt continue to expand the world of “Yellowstone,” which has become a massive franchise for Paramount.

In the meantime, the rest of the core cast of “Yellowstone” is expected to return for the final six episodes, even if Costner is not. It’s unclear what the outcome for Costner’s character John Dutton will be, but despite Costner’s vague indication that he’d “love to” return to the show under the right circumstances, he’s not expected to be involved in the final episodes. That leaves the question of John Dutton’s fate open, following a cliffhanger that pitted him against his son Jamie (Wes Bentley).

It’s possible that Josh Lucas will return as the younger version of John Dutton in flashbacks in order to smooth over the transition away from Costner, but either way, the current story of the Dutton family will wrap up soon. As of now, the final episodes of “Yellowstone” are set to premiere on Paramount Network in November.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He's the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has written about movies and TV for Vulture, Inverse, CBR, Crooked Marquee and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.