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Yellowstone Season 5 Showrunner, Development Details And More

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Performer-turned-writer Taylor Sheridan has seen massive success in television with the Paramount Network series "Yellowstone." The show, which follows a family of powerful Montana ranch owners, has remained a hit throughout its run. And that should come as no surprise, as Season 4 featured a ton of non-stop drama, with John Dutton's decision to run for governor, Jamie Dutton sending his biological dad to that pasture up in the sky, Beth Dutton seemingly defeating her brother while also getting hitched to ranch hand Rip Wheeler, and the folks at Market Equities prepping for some serious revenge.

So where does Season 5 go from here? Well, with the season split in two, we've already got a few answers, but now, we're all waiting for things to get really intense when the show makes its big return. When will "Yellowstone" ride back onto the screen? What's in store for the Duttons when the series returns? And which actors are returning to the ranch? Read on for everything we know so far about "Yellowstone" Season 5.

When will Yellowstone Season 5 - Part II be released, and will it be the end of Yellowstone?

The first part of "Yellowstone" Season 5 made its two-hour premiere on November 13, 2022, picking up six months after the previous season left off. The first half of the series ran for eight episodes, with the midseason finale airing on January 1, 2023. The last we saw of the Duttons, it felt like the show was gearing up for big, bloody business ... but when will all this simmering drama finally boil over?

Well, back in December 2022, Paramount released a quick teaser for "Yellowstone" Season 5 Part II that promised the series would return "this summer." However, we're sorry to say that's not going to pan out. We're even sorrier to say that after the second block of Season 5 episodes are released, "Yellowstone" will be riding off into the sunset for good.

In February 2023, Deadline reported that showrunner Taylor Sheridan and the Paramount Network were going to end "Yellowstone" after Season 5 Part II due to drama involving Kevin Costner. Reportedly, the actor wanted to spend more time working on his own project, the massive Western movie "Horizon," and as a result, he wanted to spend far less time working on "Yellowstone."

After that initial report, we didn't hear anything official from any of the creatives associated with the show. It was pretty much total radio silence, and nobody was sure what was really happening behind the scenes. But in May 2023, it was officially announced that "Yellowstone" will end after Season 5 finally concludes. So when will we get to say goodbye to the Duttons and all their various allies and enemies? Well, the show was supposed to return in November 2023, but there's no way that's happening due to the current writers' and actors' strike. So at the moment, keep your eye on 2024.

What is the plot of Yellowstone Season 5?

"Yellowstone" Season 5 Part I took a more leisurely pace than previous seasons, slowly setting the table for what's to come. We watched as Governor John Dutton crushed Market Equities' plans for a new hotel, Jamie Dutton announced impeachment proceedings against his father, and Beth Dutton began planning to buy her adopted brother a one-way ticket to the Train Station. And as it turns out, Jamie has similar plans for his sister.

Tragically, Season 5 kicked off with Kayce and Monica Dutton losing their unborn son and with Kayce struggling with the ramifications of his Season 4 vision. But despite the darkness, "Yellowstone" Season 5 Part I spent the majority of its time reveling in the cowboy way of life, with John overseeing the round-up and branding of all his cattle. Unfortunately, those salad days were brought to an end by an outbreak of brucellosis, forcing Rip Wheeler to take half the herd — and half the Yellowstone ranch hands — to Texas.

Meanwhile, Thomas Rainwater found his position of chairman being threatened by forces unhappy with the way he's been running the Confederated Tribes of Broken Rock. On top of all that, we got a quick peek at Jimmy Hurdstrom's life on the 6666 Ranch, where he seems to be living the perfect existence with vet tech Emily. 

It'll be interesting to see how all these interconnected stories play out in Season 5 Part II, especially with Market Equities' attack dog Sarah Atwood on the loose. We also suspect some big characters are going to bite the dust, as showrunner Taylor Sheridan told Entertainment Tonight, "If you look at everyone as a chess piece, in Season 5 it is impossible to keep playing the game without taking pieces off the board."

Who starred in Yellowstone Season 5 - Part I?

All the major players returned for the first half of "Yellowstone" Season 5, with Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, and Luke Grimes reprising their roles in the Dutton family. Cole Hauser came back as Rip Wheeler, and Kelsey Asbille returned as Monica, along with Brecken Merrill as young Tate Dutton.

Season 5 Part I saw more than a handful of flashbacks, meaning Josh Lucas played the younger version of John Dutton, along with Kyle Red Silverstein as a young Rip and Kylie Rogers as young Beth. Back in the modern day, Jefferson White returned as Jimmy, along with Kathryn Kelly as his girlfriend Emily. And, of course, Gil Bingham was fending off new opposition as Thomas Rainwater, along with Moses Brings Plenty as his right-hand man, Mo, and Q'orianka Kilcher as his rival, Angela Blue Thunder.

The bunkhouse also came back, with Forrie J. Smith as Lloyd, Denim Richards as Colby, Jennifer Landon as Teeter, Ryan Walker as Bingham, and Ian Bohen as Ryan. A much, much taller Finn Little played Carter, Wendy Moniz returned as Senator Lynelle Perry, and Hassie Harrison came back as barrel racer Laramie. Jacki Weaver played Market Equities CEO Caroline Warner, and Piper Perabo's Summer Higgins was released from jail and now spends her time fighting some Duttons and making out with others.

As far as new faces, "Yellowstone" Season 5 Part I saw the arrival of country singer Lainey Wilson as musician/Ryan's love interest Abby. Lilli Kay played Clara Brewer, John Dutton's loyal assistant, and Christian Wassana played Martin Kills Many, a young man jockeying for Thomas Rainwater's job. Additionally, Dawn Olivieri returned to the "Yellowstone" fold after playing Claire in "1883," showing up here as Sarah Atwood, a lawyer with designs on manipulating Jamie Dutton and bringing down his adopted dad. 

Who will star in Yellowstone Season 5 - Part II?

We expect that all the familiar faces will return for Season 5 Part II. Well ... almost all of them, anyway. Unfortunately, it looks like one of the most important people in the series might not be coming back to finish out the show.

It's been widely reported that Kevin Costner hasn't been happy with his shooting schedule — largely because of the decision to break Season 5 into two chunks, thus taking more time to film — and that he allegedly tried to reduce the number of his filming days in Season 5 Part 2 down to just a week. (That isn't much for the main character of the show.) Evidently, Costner is working on his own Western, the epic film series "Horizon," and his directing schedule was coming into conflict with his "Yellowstone" schedule.

While many of the people involved with the series have said they're confident Costner will carry on with the show, there haven't been any verified updates yet on what his "Yellowstone" future will be (other than the fact that he's indicated he may sue over the whole incident). In fact, in May 2023, Deadline reported that Costner might not return at all. We're not sure what "Yellowstone" looks like without John Dutton, but sadly, we might find out.

Who is the showrunner of Yellowstone Season 5

If you know anything about "Yellowstone," then you know who's calling the shots. The series is the brainchild of Taylor Sheridan, who's basically the king of TV at this point, with spinoff series like "1883" and "1923" and non-"Yellowstone" programs like "Tulsa King" and "Mayor of Kingstown."

So yeah, Sheridan is a man who likes to keep busy. That definitely applies to what happens behind the scenes on "Yellowstone." With exception of Season 2, he single-handedly penned every "Yellowstone" script, and that applies to the first batch of Season 5 episodes. And with John Dutton as governor and his children gearing up for war, we can also expect the next half of the show to really drive home what Sheridan says is the overarching theme of the series.

Speaking to The Atlantic, Sheridan explained, "This was one of the fundamental things I wanted to look at: When you have a kingdom, and you are the king, is there such a thing as morality? Because anyone trying to take your kingdom and remove you as king is going to replace your morality for theirs. So does morality factor into the defense of the kingdom? And what does that make the king? And at the end of the day, that's really what the show is about."

What is the future of Yellowstone?

Sadly, "Yellowstone" will end after Season 5, but that doesn't mean we're saying goodbye to this world of hard-bitten cowboys, political power struggles, and bloody gunfights. Instead, it looks like we're just shifting from one A-list actor to another.

The spirit of "Yellowstone" will live on with an unnamed sequel series, which will reportedly feature several major players from the flagship show. We don't know which characters will be making the jump, but perhaps we'll see the likes of Rip, Beth, and Jimmy again. We do know for a fact that once "Yellowstone" Season 5 is done, Kevin Costner is done too. So who will lead the new sequel series?

Well, it's been reported that Matthew McConaughey is intalks to be the face of the franchise moving forward. So perhaps the sequel series will take place in McConaughey's home state of Texas? That's just speculation on our part, but we do know several members of the Yellowstone did make a long trip south in Season 5 Part 1, that Jimmy spends his days working on the 6666, and that showrunner Taylor Sheridan actually owns that real-life ranch.

Regardless of what state the "Yellowstone" sequel ends up in, we're very interested to see McConaughey lead the franchise in a new, Costner-less direction.

Where to watch previous seasons of Yellowstone

If you're looking for the first half of Season 5, you can currently stream the show in a few places. First and foremost, it's available on Peacock, which has long been home to the "Yellowstone" series. (And if you're new to the show, every season is available on the streamer, so go ahead and catch up on all the Dutton drama.)

If you don't have Peacock, you can also find Season 5 Part II on fuboTV, DIRECTV, and the Paramount Network's official site (which isn't the same thing as Paramount+). If you'd rather spend a few bucks and just own the first batch of episodes, Season 5 Part I is available on Google PlayVuduAmazon Video, and Apple iTunes.

You can also visit the Dutton family's past on Paramount+, with the two prequel series "1883" and "1923."