“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 this fall and premiere in summer, 2018. Costner will star as family patriarch John Dutton.
The role will mark Costner’s first regular role on a television series in his long and storied career, but he did previously win an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in the History miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys.” On the film side, Costner won the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director in 1991 for “Dances with Wolves.” He is also known for roles in hit films like “The Untouchables,” “JFK,” and “Field of Dreams.”
“Our goal is to bring premium cinematic storytelling to television. With an icon such as Kevin Costner in front of the camera, and the renowned Taylor Sheridan behind the camera, we are off to a great start,” said Keith Cox, president of development and production for Paramount Network and TV Land. “We are thrilled to have such a celebrated actor as Costner to play the lead role in such an important project for Paramount Network.”
“Yellowstone” is the first scripted series greenlit for the Paramount Network, which will be the name of the network when Spike rebrands in January 2018 as part of restructuring at parent company Viacom. Taylor Sheridan, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing the screenplay for “Hell or High Water,” will write and direct the series. The Weinstein Company will produce with John and Art Linson, Costner, Sheridan, Harvey Weinstein, and David Glasser executive producing.
“Taylor Sheridan wrote a giant of a character in lead John Dutton,” Weinstein said. “There was only one actor who could be transformational – Kevin Costner. This is a coup for the show and fulfills a joint promise that Kevin and I made – that we would find a mutual project to work on.”
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. In addition, “The Shannara Chronicles” will move from MTV to Spike this fall ahead of the rebrand.