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Yellowstone Spin-Off Series 1883 Will Not Be As Limited As We Thought

When fans of Taylor Sheridan's "Yellowstone" first learned about the prequel spin-off "1883," it was initially said to be a limited series with a possible chance for additional episodes to come in the future. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the debut season of "1883" was expected to get the add-on episodes at some time in late 2022. 

When we last left off with the 19th-century Duttons in "1883," James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret (Faith Hill) are forced to grapple with the loss of their daughter, Elsa (Isabel May), after she is shot with an arrow during an ambush by a Lakota war party. "They lost a daughter but found a place to build a better life," explained producer David Glasser in an interview with THR. "Shea [Sam Elliott] wanted to see the coast one more time — that's what he wanted out of this journey after losing his family," Glasser continued. "Thomas [LaMonica Garrett], who had closed everything off in his life, found what he wanted: a woman. ... You understand the pain of this journey they invested in. Everything that happened sort of has a full-circle wrap to it."

With most things on "1883" having been squared away, it appeared to some that there wouldn't be much left to explore creatively in that time period. However, based on a new announcement from Paramount, it sounds like the company actually has much bigger plans for the Western prequel than just a run-of-the-mill extension.

1883 will continue with a story about Bass Reeves

As reported by Deadline, it appears that "1883" is being bucked back into the Paramount+ spotlight with a limited run of episodes being ordered up by the streaming giant that will focus on the legendary life of Bass Reeves — America's first black deputy U.S. marshal to serve west of the Mississippi River (via Britannica). The "1883" offshoot will be titled "1883: The Bass Reeves Story" and will star Emmy Award-winner David Oyelowo as its titular hero. Reeves, who worked as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, reportedly captured over 3,000 criminals back in his heyday (via Ferris State University).

If this project sounds familiar to you, that's because it is only a slight twist on one of a bevy of Sheridan-led projects announced by Paramount in February. At the time of its original announcement, the series was simply titled "Bass Reeves" and appeared entirely disconnected from the "Yellowstone" franchise (via Paramount Plus). However, it would seem that Paramount is keen on capitalizing on the success of one of its most popular properties.

Oyelowo spoke to TheWrap about playing the iconic lawman back in February, saying he was immersing himself fully in the Western lifestyle. "Being in the world of Taylor Sheridan, you have the best in the business to teach you all of that," Oyelowo explained. "I am about to get deep into the world of horse-riding," he said. "I do ride, but [Reeves] was at a completely other level. It's going to be a lot of fun. The guns, the horses ... I'm gonna be a kid in a candy store."

This news comes directly on the heels of some attention-grabbing casting news for "1932," yet another planned spin-off in the "Yellowstone" franchise.