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Yellowstone: 6666 - What We Know So Far

On the other side of just four seasons of the (now) Emmy-nominated "Yellowstone," series creator Taylor Sheridan is fast becoming to the contemporary Western what executive producer Dick Wolf was (and still is) to the police procedural and courtroom drama. The premiere of the hotly-anticipated prequel spin-off, "Yellowstone: 1883," is less than two weeks away, and the network announced earlier this year that a second spin-off, currently entitled "Yellowstone: 6666," will further flesh-out the franchise's ever-expanding universe and narrative. 

Anyone watching Season 4 of "Yellowstone" will undoubtedly be familiar with the second spin-off's Texas location. After sustaining a devastating rodeo injury, the lovable (and lovesick) ranch hand Jimmy (Jefferson White) defies the advice of his doctors — and the will of Kevin Costner's formidable John Dutton — by hopping back into the saddle in Season 3, and injuring himself a second time in an effort to impress his girlfriend. Not one to suffer fools gladly, John resolves to send Jimmy away to a ranch in Texas (the 6666 Ranch, colloquially known as "the four sixes") that can teach him some proper discipline and skill. In John's eyes, the move is an opportunity for the oft-misguided ranch hand to learn how to "be a man," since — as Cole Hauser's Rip says in Season 4, Episode 2 — the ranch is where "cowboying was invented." 

Jimmy finally makes it to his new home in Episode 4, "Winning or Learning," but it isn't until the following episode that viewers gain some insight into the severity and scale of the ranch. But how, exactly, will the upcoming spin-off approach the story of 6666, and when can fans expect to see the secondary location become its own central, pivotal character and plot?

When will Yellowstone: 6666 premiere?

To-date, no information has been offered regarding the release date of the tentatively entitled "Yellowstone: 6666." While we do know that filming began on "Y: 1883" on August 23, 2021 (via Deadline) — and that the series will premiere on December 19, 2021 — the latter's production time may not necessarily serve as a reliable basis of comparison for the series' second spin-off. 

For starters, it looks as though Sheridan had already thought through much of the plot of "1883" in creating the Dutton family we see in "Yellowstone." The "Hell or High Water" and "Sicario" writer — as 101 Studios CEO David Glasser explained to Deadline — appears to think a lot about backstory and lineage in creating his compelling characters. "Ask him a question about a character," the exec told the outlet of Sheridan, "(and) he'll take you back 10 or 30 years. That's what happened here with 1883. Taylor was thinking about the story of the Duttons and their journey." With "6666," the narrative may or may not be as pre-established, depending on when it's set in the history of the series.

On the other hand, the Texas spin-off does potentially have one major convenience up its sleeve when it comes to filming: Sheridan owns the series' titular location. As Texas Monthly reports, after the 266k acre ranch went on the market last December, Sheridan purchased it for an undisclosed amount, and subsequently became "the face of the new ownership group." This could remove some of the red tape associated with the day-to-day logistics of filming on location, since, (as TM's Dan Solomon points out) given the massive size of the property, "a filmmaker could, if he wanted to, turn a portion of it into the biggest movie set ever built and still have 265,985 acres or so left for the ranching."

Who will star in Yellowstone: 6666?

At present, no announcements have been made regarding the characters — much less the cast — of "Yellowstone: 6666." That said, Season 4 of "Yellowstone" has already placed a beloved character there, and it's unlikely Jimmy's first day on the ranch is the last we'll see of him. Of course, that may or may not mean the "Yellowstone" spin-off will revolve around Jimmy's experience at the ranch. 

With "Y: 1883," Sheridan will be providing fans with the history and origins of The Duttons and The Yellowstone Ranch, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that "6666" will delve into the history and origins of the famous Texas ranch. If this second spin-off is a kind of prequel, it's possible that the actor behind Jimmy, Jefferson White, will remain on the flagship series. Alternatively, if the series is set in the same timeframe as "Yellowstone," it's equally as likely that White will be a central figure in its storyline. 

Another "Yellowstone" character — the confrontational and understandably suspicious Walker, played by real-life cowboy and musician Ryan Bingham (via Rolling Stone) — is from Texas in the series, and in Season 4, he waxes poetic and nostalgic about the Lone Star State. "The biggest regret of my life is leaving the place you're going to," he tells Jimmy, and it's unclear if he means the actual Four Sixes ranch, or Texas in general. If Walker is referring to the ranch itself, it's possible fans will see him pop-up in "6666," particularly if it manifests in a "relatively recent prequel" plot line.

What will Yellowstone: 6666 be about?

Unfortunately for eager fans, little has been revealed about the plot of "6666," other than a vague synopsis. "Still operating as it did two centuries before," the synopsis reads, "the 6666 is where the rule of law and the laws of nature merge in a place where the most dangerous thing one does is the next thing" (via Outsider). "Founded when Comanches still ruled West Texas, no ranch in America is more steeped in the history of the West than the 6666," it explains, adding that the ranch is "synonymous with the merciless endeavor to raise the finest horses and livestock in the world." 

Although the synopsis tells us much about the currently titular ranch, it rather coyly avoids any revelations about how the ranch's history and purpose will factor in to the actual series. For now, fans of "Yellowstone" and its rapidly expanding universe will have to wait and speculate. As usual, there's no shortage of theories (see: Reddit) surrounding Taylor Sheridan's next creative move.