Report: ‘Yellowstone’ Ending as Kevin Costner Negotiations Stall, Matthew McConaughey in Talks for New Show
Yellowstone might be coming to an end as soon as the end of its current Season 5 due to a breakdown in negotiations with series star Kevin Costner, according to a new report — and Matthew McConaughey is in talks to star in a new show to replace Yellowstone.
Deadline reports that Paramount Network's negotiations with Costner for the second half of Season 5 have reached an impasse due to time constraints that he wants built into his shooting schedule.
The Oscar-winning actor and director, who stars as Dutton patriarch John Dutton on the runaway hit show, originally asked for a shooting schedule of 65 days per season when he signed on in 2018. He negotiated to reduce that to 50 days for the episodes in the first half of Season 5, since he is currently directing, producing and starring in a project of his own called Horizon, an epic, four-part Western film that's a huge commitment.
According to Deadline, Costner has been trying to negotiate for a shooting schedule of just one week for the back half of Season 5 — which has caused a "morale problem" with the rest of the cast — and the network has refused. Paramount has decided instead to bring the show to a close and focus on another show to replace it in the overall Yellowstone franchise, which also consists of last year's 1883, the current 1923 and at least two upcoming shows, Bass Reeves and 6666. The massive success of 1883 and 1923 makes Paramount less dependent on continuing Yellowstone, the report adds.
McConaughey is reportedly in negotiations to lead the new show, which is also expected to feature "several of the big stars" from Yellowstone. Deadline reports that it's "quite possible" that Yellowstone will wrap with the final episodes of Season 5 after the season returns in the summer.
“We have no news to report," a spokesman for Paramount Network tells Deadline. "Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of [series creator] Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner."
Costner won Best Actor in a Television Series — Drama at the 2023 Golden Globes on Jan. 23 for his role as John Dutton. His work on Season 5 of Yellowstone reportedly made him one of the highest-paid actors on television, earning $1.3 million per episode. Rumors that Season 5 might be his last have been swirling since early in the season.