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How Season 2 Of Yellowstone's 1883 Will Change The Franchise Forever

Even though the best years of the Western genre are far off in the past, that hasn't stopped "Yellowstone" from thriving on the small screen. Created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, the series premiered back in 2018, introducing audiences to the Duttons: a family of ranchers who've called the Yellowstone Ranch home for generations and have to contend with conflicts of all kinds just to remain on their land. Within a few short years, this premise catapulted the program to a staggering five seasons (via TV Insider), but that's not all "Yellowstone" has going for it.

As the neo-Western drama has found its footing, it has managed to prove to Paramount that there's a market for an extended franchise around it. As a result, the first spin-off, "Yellowstone: 1883," debuted in December of 2021 and left the majority of viewers impressed. It brought fans back to the titular year where they saw John Dutton's (Kevin Costner) ancestors, James (the prop-smuggling Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill), take ownership of the Yellowstone ranch after a perilous journey across the United States. Unsurprisingly, a second season is on the horizon.

While one might imagine that an "1883" Season 2 will pick up where the first left off, that's not the case. The next batch of episodes will actually take the franchise in a bold new direction.

1883 Season 2 shifts the spotlight away from the Dutton family

In a surprising change of pace from the Dutton-centric nature of the "Yellowstone," the second season of "Yellowstone: 1883" — titled "1883: The Bass Reeves Story" — will pivot away from the now-famous TV family. As the name implies, "1883" Season 2 will instead focus on real-world Wild West legend Bass Reeves (David Oyelowo) as he works to clean up a lawless region of the United States in the post-Reconstruction era. According to Deadline, Taylor Sheridan and his team originally intended for the Reeves project to stand on its own before folding it into the wider "Yellowstone" canon.

"1883: The Bass Reeves Story" is, so far, unique to the "Yellowstone" timeline in that it's entirely about a real-life person and doesn't place the Dutton family at the forefront. Therefore, one could imagine that this opens the door for more projects about historical figures set within the "Yellowstone" universe down the road. No one has confirmed this, but based on fan chatter, most wouldn't mind this new direction for the franchise. In a thread from Reddit user Camball1998 about the upcoming "1883" spin-off, multiple users voiced their excitement for it and shared their joy in seeing Sheridan's works thrive.

"1883: The Bass Reeves Story" lacks a release date, but considering the response toward it, the project and the new era for the "Yellowstone" franchise it will usher in can't arrive on Paramount+ soon enough.