Yellowstone season 5 was supposed to premiere its second batch of episodes this month, but the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes put that on hold. Now, Paramount is officially admitting defeat, pushing the series finale to November 2024. But it's not all bad news for fans of Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone universe.
According to Variety, while fans will have to wait until next fall for the last six episodes of the popular western drama series, Yellowstone’s final season won’t be the end of the Dutton family. Paramount also announced the greenlight for spinoff series 1944 and 2024 at the same time it announced the Yellowstone delay.
So now that we have another 22 episodes of the Sheridan-verse on the way (conservatively), let’s go over what we know about these three shows right now.
Yellowstone, 1944 and 2024: What’s coming
While we don’t know what’s coming in the final six episodes of Yellowstone, we do at least know where the story will likely pick back up. At the end of episode eight of season 5 (spoiler alert), the Dutton family was on the brink of tearing each other apart, with multiple family members plotting the potential death of each other. Meanwhile, patriarch John Dutton III (Kevin Costner) was dealing with the challenges of being governor of Montana and running the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.
In terms of the spinoffs, 2024 is the one we probably know the most amount about at this point — but even that's not much. All we know is that it’s expected to follow the conclusion of Yellowstone both in terms of timeline and airdate and will reportedly feature a new cast of characters and locations.
This is the same spinoff that Matthew McConaughey was rumored to be joining as buzz was building that Kevin Costner would be leaving Yellowstone. It was originally tipped for later this year but clearly won’t be coming until next November at the earliest. The 2024 spinoff could premiere in conjunction with the original Yellowstone's series finale.
Then there is 1944, which we know essentially nothing about. It’s reportedly being filmed in Bitterroot Valley in Montana at the Chief Joseph Ranch, which serves as the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch in Sheridan’s shows. It could follow up on the next generation of Duttons after 1923, and World War II will likely play some part in the show’s storyline, but aside from that, we can’t speculate.
Oh, and then there’s 6666, which has already been greenlit for the Paramount Network. No, this one doesn’t take place in the year 6666 — in this case, the numbers refer to the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas. This ranch has already made an appearance in Yellowstone seasons 4 and 5 and the show is expected to take place in the present day.
Analysis: More Yellowstone on the horizon could indicate the actor’s strike is ending
One bit of news potentially hiding in plain sight is that all these announcements may indicate that Paramount expects the SAG-AFTRA strike to end soon. While we haven’t heard anything official, it’d be odd for the studio to start greenlighting shows and setting release dates if the actors weren’t expected to return to work in the near future.
Adding fuel to this potential fire, Warner Bros. Discovery network HBO also made some announcements of its own this week, including a release date window for House of the Dragon season 2 and a production timeline for The Last of Us season 2.
Again, there are nuances to all this, and none of these announcements guarantee the strike is ending. But, taken as a broader view, it does seem that the studios choosing to make these announcements is a promising sign that the end of the strike is near. And given the WGA largely won its strike, that could be great news for SAG-AFTRA members and viewers like us. Can’t have great TV shows like Yellowstone without the actors.