Report: Each Episode of ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel ‘1923’ Costs $22 Million
A new report reveals the staggering cost of Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan's television empire. The Wall Street Journal reports that Paramount Network spends more than half a billion dollars on Sheridan's projects each season — including a staggering $22 million per episode for his hit Yellowstone prequel, 1923.
According to WSJ, the total price tag for Season 1 of 1923 came to $200 million. The drama stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, and it depicts the backstory of the Dutton family and the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch where Yellowstone takes place.
The WSJ article also delves into the massive amount of money Paramount Global is spending on Sheridan's other projects, which include Yellowstone and its upcoming spinoffs Lawmen: Bass Reeves, 6666, 1944 and a yet-untitled Yellowstone sequel that will reportedly star Matthew McConaughey. Sheridan is also currently producing Tulsa King, Land Man and Lioness for the network for a total cost of more than $500 million per year, and according to sources, his penchant for spending is causing some worry among studio heads.
WSJ reports that Sheridan leases his own Texas ranch to producers as a filming location at the cost of up to $50,000 per week, and he also uses his own cattle in his shows at a cost of $25 a head to the network. His week-long Cowboy Camp, in which he teaches the actors on Yellowstone and related shows the skills they need to ride, rope and shoot, cost Paramount $214,979.61, including $33,000 for catering and $2,000 for each horse.
The episodes for Yellowstone's first half of Season 5 each reportedly had a budget of $12 million, but ran over budget by "several million dollars" each.
“That is ridiculous. Seriously. How do we control this?" 101 Studios head David Glasser wrote in an email WSJ obtained.
Even so, Sheridan's shows make Paramount and 101 Studios so much money that they are more than willing to bear those costs.
“Taylor’s shows are among our most successful and profitable,” a Paramount spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. “If we could do three more partnerships with people as successful, creative and prolific as Taylor, we’d do it in a heartbeat.”