Yellowstone’s streak of success has been a relatively wild one thus far. After starting out as “your dad’s favorite TV show,” the neo-western quickly grew to become one of TV’s most-watched series by the end of Season 3, and then it all fell to pieces in the middle of Season 5. Now, with Yellowstone’s final episodes arriving later this year with Kevin Costner’s John Dutton being written out, it looks like the franchise is in danger of losing even more beloved cast members who are meant to star in the sequel series, tentatively titled 2024.
With quite a few upcoming Yellowstone shows in the works across different eras of the Dutton family lineage, it’s no doubt challenging for co-creator Taylor Sheridan to keep the various cast members wrangled. And it appears that longtime series co-stars Cole Hauser, Kelly Reilly and Luke Grimes could potentially make their own exits from the Paramount Network lineup before the spinoff sequel kicks off production. Could we really be saying an early farewell to Rip, Beth and Kayce?
According to Puck News (via ComicBook.com), the latest new entry in the Yellowstone-verse has yet to officially cement deals with Hauser, Reilly and Grimes, and it hasn’t been the smoothest road to date for at least two of them. Hauser and Reilly, whose Rip and Beth are one of TV’s most celebrated couples (and inspirations for Halloween costumes), are reportedly seeking salary boosts for the new series that would have them earning upwards of $1.25 million per episode. (It’s unclear how long one or more seasons of the 2024 spinoff would be.)
How's It Gonna Go?
No doubt some fans think that’s a paltry request for two of Yellowstone’s biggest draws, but it appears as if Paramount execs aren’t so open to it. What’s more, it’s claimed that those execs also set a deadline for negotiations to be made, with the general understanding that a lack of agreement would lead to the new series moving forward without them.
It’s unclear if Luke Grimes has his own contract requests to deal with, or if there’s a different issue at play there. It could just be that Paramount’s team is aiming to sign all three at once, and is waiting to see how Hauser and Reilly’s situations shake out before making a final call with Grimes.
At this point, the second season of 1923 seems like it’ll come together without a slew of hitches, with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren back in the saddles. But the lack of forward progress with 2024 isn’t completely unlike the lack of updates regarding the long-ago-confirmed 6666 spinoff meant to center on Jimmy’s life down in Texas with Emily.
I’d wager it’s actually worse, since at least there haven’t been any rumors about Jefferson White potentially leaving the franchise over pay disputes. Plus, fans weren’t quite as upset about the flagship show’s delays and problems when 6666 was first discussed, but had lots of things to say about the double-reveal of 2024 and the new prequel 1944.
For now, all we can do is stay tuned to see who caves first, and who will come out of this deal with more money in their pockets. In the meantime, a Peacock subscription is all that's needed to catch up on every Yellowstone episode that's aired to date.