Why ‘Yellowstone’ Isn’t Likely To Return In 2023

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Nearly 8 months have passed since the first half of Yellowstone‘s fifth season aired. And it looks like fans will be waiting awhile longer for the hit series’ finale episodes, and the wait may be longer than everyone had hoped.

While there was originally the promise of more episodes airing this summer, a lot has happened in recent months that has caused delays. From Kevin Costner’s personal life drama to the writer’s strike, it’s not looking hopeful that we will see the conclusion of Yellowstone anytime soon.


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Kevin Costner’s passion project and marriage woes cause delays.

Initial production on the second half of Yellowstone‘s fifth season was scheduled to start in April. But, a rumored contract dispute with the show’s star, Kevin Costner, brought things to a half. At the time, Costner wanted to focus on producing and starring in a passion project that he has been working on since 1988. Horizon: An American Saga is a Civil War movie series written by Costner that “chronicles a multi-faceted, 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west.”

Eventually, Costner’s focus on Horizon would lead to the end of his Yellowstone contract and the announcement that the series’ fifth season would be its last. Paramount announced at the time that the show would return in November with its final episodes.


In early May, it was announced that Kevin Costner and his wife of 18 years, Christine Baumgartner, were ending their marriage. Details released during his divorce proceedings state that the actor is “no longer under contract” for Yellowstone, leaving it unclear if he will even return for the final episodes.

Actors’ and writers’ strikes prompt further delays.

In early may, the Writers Guild of America went on strike over an ongoing regarding residual payments from streaming media. Yellowstone‘s sole writer, Taylor Sheridan, told The Hollywood Reporter that he has remained “pencils down” in support of the strike, meaning that it’s likely that the final Yellowstone episodes are yet to be written.

Roughly two months after the writers’ strike ensued, an actors’ strike followed. More than 65,000 actors joined the cause, bringing production of television shows and movies to a grinding halt. This means that even if Taylor Sheridan had written the final episodes of Yellowstone, the actors wouldn’t be filming anyway.

Weather at Montana filming location could postpone filming until spring.

A majority of Yellowstone is filmed at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, deep in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley.

Mountains overlook the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana.

The Hollywood Reporter, wrote that Yellowstone’s filming schedule usually runs from April to October in an effort to avoid weather interference. Since so much of the show is filmed outdoors, it is critical that the location provide plenty of filming-friendly days. Even if production started on the remainder of the season immediately, they would be racing the clock to wrap before shorter days and winter weather make their way to the Big Sky state.


At press time there has been no update about production timing or an air date from Paramount Network. But, it’s looking more and more likely that Yellowstone fans will have to wait until 2024 to learn the fate of the Dutton family.

Get a tour of the Chief Joseph Ranch where Yellowstone is filmed below.