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Yellowstone: Paramount Pays Taylor Sheridan A Pretty Penny To Film On His Ranch

The "Yellowstone" franchise has proven to be a powerhouse for Paramount, but that success comes at a substantial cost. The budget for the network's most-watched Western dramas is quite robust, and one individual in particular is benefiting from the financial requirements needed to bring their Western brand authenticity. Besides getting paid for his work on the series, many fans might not realize that co-creator Taylor Sheridan also gets handsomely reimbursed for the show to use his ranch for several needs.

The mind behind the "Yellowstone" phenomena not only has an extensive background in the rancher lifestyle but also has the perfect 266,000-acre setting to help make shows like "Yellowstone" the captivating series known to draw record-breaking viewership numbers. Not only does Sheridan rent out his 152-year-old ranch and its contents to Paramount for production, but he also provides the necessary education to cowboy correctly on screen.

But the authentic advantage isn't cheap. The Wall Street Journal reported that the show's executive producer charges Paramount $50,000 weekly to shoot the titles that make up the "Yellowstone" franchise on his over $341 million property. He also conducts a rigorous training regiment called "Cowboy Camp" that can cost up to $214,979.61 for about a week's session for an unidentified number of participants. Part of that price tag includes $33,000 for catering, and each horse sets them back $2,000. It seems safe to assume, given the show's success, that these expenses were worthwhile, and investing big bucks in Sheridan has proven to be a lucrative affair for Paramount, especially considering how his real-life ranch efforts have benefited the series, from its captivating storyline to its carefully calculated roster.

Sheridan's ranch experience influenced Yellowstone's story and helped cast a certain character

When it comes to writing, writers are usually told it's better to write what they know, and that is exactly what Taylor Sheridan did when cultivating the narrative for "Yellowstone." It may not have been the same as the sought-after farmland from the show, but Sheridan himself was born and raised on a ranch, which was a factor when creating the series. "When you write, it's always of an autobiographical nature," the "Yellowstone" co-creator said about the impact of his real-life cowboy experiences in an interview. "Our family ranch has informed 'Yellowstone' in many ways, but losing it was the biggest one." The executive producer credited the time when his family was forced to sell the ranch in the '90s as inspiration for the series, and that personal feeling of loss adds yet another level of authenticity to the show's plot. The particular memory from his past heavily impacted the story, especially regarding the motivations of the Dutton family to keep their land no matter the cost.

But training, location, and writing weren't the only ways Sheridan's cowboy talents had served the Paramount Network's heavy hitter. When it came time to cast the character of Travis Wheatley, a horse trader with next-level skills, there was only one person Sheridan felt comfortable recruiting for the role. The man himself was the only one worthy of playing such a persona. Whether dredging up tough memories, renting out the backyard, or saddling up for a shot, there is no denying that Taylor Sheridan is firmly committed to making "Yellowstone" and its ever-expanding franchise the best it can be for its fans.