Paramount Network has given a series order to “Yellowstone,” from the Weinstein Co. and writer Taylor Sheridan. The drama is the first scripted original series ordered since the announcement in February that Viacom-owned cable channel Spike would rebrand itself as Paramount Network, a transformation that will be completed early next year.
Written and directed by Sheridan, “Yellowstone” tells the story of the fictional Dutton family, which owns the largest contiguous ranch in the United States — a piece of property that borders Yellowstone National Park and puts the family in constant conflict with a wide range of rivals. The 10-episode first season is slated to go into production in fall and premiere in summer, 2018.
“Our first big Paramount Network drama is critical,” said Keith Cox, president of development and production for Paramount Network. “What we buy makes a statement.”
The statement “Yellowstone” makes is “really interesting storytelling,” Cox said. “The opportunity to work with one of the most sought after feature writers in town today is a huge statement for us. Then to back it up with something that’s so American and so rich, but also so detailed in its storytelling and its character development is incredible.”
Sheridan is the screenwriter of feature films “Hell or High Water,” “Sicario,” and “Wind River.” “Yellowstone” is executive produced by The Weinstein Company with John and Art Linson. Sheridan, Harvey Weinstein, and David Glasser also serve as executive producers.
Viacom confirmed in March that “Heathers” and “American Woman,” which had been in development at TV Land, would migrate to Paramount Network as part of shift of resources at Viacom toward a small set of core cable channels. Paramount Network, intended to be a broad, premium-entertainment network, is one of the six channels that Viacom CEO Bob Bakish identified as the company’s future focal points.