Paramount’s Yellowstone series created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson recorded massive – even record-shattering – success ever since the first season’s premiere back in 2018. And since then, there was no stopping it from its soaring viewership. Last year, the series already wrapped up their third season with an intense, action-packed cliffhanger finale that left fans at the edge of their seats.
And this fall, they’re returning for a fourth season with the Duttons out raving for blood. Fan questions whether who will survive or not will soon be answered – and everyone’s excited. But before we dive into another seat-captivating season, here’s everything you need to know about the series – from its inception to what’s in store for it in the future.
S01E01 Daybreak: A Recap and a Quick Guide
Yellowstone is a neo-western drama series created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, who both have an impressive resume in the melodramatic western genre. You might have already heard of Sheridan’s works, if not the man himself, which include Sicario (2015) and Hell or High Water (2016). As for Linson, he is best known for producing the FX original series Sons of Anarchy.
The show has been in the works since 2013 and was greenlit for filming on May 3, 2017. It first premiered on June 20, 2018, on Paramount network, the cable outlet’s first dive into becoming a Peak TV competitor. The first season opened with Daybreak, a two-hour-long introduction of the cast and a glimpse of the complex narrative that would unfold in the next eight episodes. And these two things are what made it one of the best shows of this generation.
Yellowstone follows the Dutton family led by the sixth generation owner of the largest ranch in the US, Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, named John Dutton (played by Kevin Costner). Amidst the family drama, they are plagued by different resourceful entities – land developers, an Indigenous reservation, and America’s first national park – who all think they have legitimate right to claim. Set in the heart of rural Montana, Yellowstone is a story about manipulative power and politics beyond media scrutiny.
The Breathtaking Backdrop: Where is it filmed?
But aside from the questions about the riveting plot, fans are also wondering about the show’s location. The ranch’s distinctive landscape and breathtaking views are 100% authentic, and around 70-75% of the show (from seasons 1 to 3) has been filmed in over 20 locations across Utah and Montana, including Park City, Ogden, and Spanish Fork according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
As for the ranch, it’s also very much real and operational. It’s called the Chief Joseph Ranch, located just outside of Darby, Montana, bordering Yellowstone National Park (hence the name). It’s a 5,000 square foot mansion built in 1917 as a summer house for mega-millionaire William Ford. And it is currently owned by Shane and Angela Libel.
And good news for die-hard fans of the show or for those who just want to experience how it feels to be a Dutton. Two one-bedroom log cabins are actually available for public renting! The show has actually acquired the use of the mansion for five seasons but, of course, with certain limitations.
But not all scenes were filmed in the ranch for financial reasons, specifically tax rebates. The show spent an estimated $80 million for filming in Utah with $7 million in tax breaks per season. So for some interior scenes, the crew filmed in three different sound stages at Park’s City’s Utah Film Studio.
The Western Favorites: Meet the Star-Studded Main Cast
A good show has a good cast, a great show has a great cast, but a phenomenal show like Yellowstone has undeniably an impressively talented cast. Let’s get to know them.
Played by the Oscar award-winning actor Kevin Costner, John Dutton is the owner of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch (the largest contiguous ranch in the US) who is also a sixth-generation patriarch, widower, and a father of four. Costner is the highest-paid cast member with a $500,000 fee per episode.
Kayce Dutton is the youngest son of John Dutton and a former US Navy Seal. He is the husband of Monica Dutton, and they have a son named Tate. The family used to live on the local Native American reservation before moving to the Dutton Ranch. The character is played by Luke Grimes.
A financier, Beth is the loyal, well-educated, and highly intelligent daughter of John Dutton. Played by Kelly Reilly, Beth is also a master manipulator who suffers from emotional instability and substance abuse. She is romantically linked to the ranch’s foreman, Rip Wheeler.
Jamie Dutton, played by BAFTA nominee Wes Bentley is an attorney and aspiring politician. He is a loyal son with a love/hate relationship with his sister Beth.
John’s right-hand man and the ranch’s foreman, Rip Wheeler, is a loyal ally and a merciless wrangler who has worked with John ever since his wild youth. In fact, John even considers him as his son. Rip is played by veteran film and TV actor Cole Hauser and has an on-and-off relationship with John’s daughter, Beth.
Monica Long Dutton
The wife of Kayce Dutton, Monica, is a Native American who worked as a teacher at a reservation school. She is played by actress Kelsey Asbille.
The son of Kayce and Monica, Tate, played by Brecken Merrill, is also John’s only grandchild.
A wealthy casino mogul, Thomas Rainwater, is the chief of Broken Rock Reservation and owner of the Painted Horse Casino. Played by the frequent Sheridan collaborator Gil Birmingham, he is set to take the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch and expand beyond the Reservation.
A land developer for Paradise Valley, he seeks to destroy the Dutton family for his ambition. He is played by award-winning actor Danny Huston.
Played by Jefferson White, Jimmy Hurdstrom is a professional thief turned Dutton’s Ranch ranch hand.
But aside from the return of the main cast, season 4 is also going to be stacked with a whole new band of cast members, including Academy Award-nominated actress Jacki Weaver, Golden Globe nominee Piper Perabo, Kathryn Kelly, and Finn Little. Things will surely get more interesting in the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.
The Best Songs from the Yellowstone Soundtrack
According to Yellowstone’s music supervisor, Andrea von Foerster, told The Rolling Stone about the strict policy in their music selection where they only picked songs that reflected the culture of the show, which was why they used a lot of outlaw music. Here are the best Yellowstone songs from each season:
Season 1 (9 Episodes; June 20 – August 22, 2018)
- “On The River” by Whiskey Myers
- “Bad News” by Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
- “Keep the Wolves Away” by Uncle Lucius
- “All Choked Up Again” by Ryan Bingham
- “Without Your Love” by Chris Stapleton
- “Baby I Lost My Way” by Nathaniel Rateliff
- “Me And The Whiskey” by Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
Season 2 (10 Episodes; June 19 – August 28, 2019)
- “Ain’t Much Left of Me” by Blackberry Smoke
- “Whiskey and You” by Chris Stapleton
- “Nose on the Grindstone” by Tyler Childers
- “Good One Comin’ On” by Blackberry Smoke
- “S.O.B.” by Nathaniel Rateliff
- “Drank Like Hank” by Brothers Osborne
- “Axe” by The Steel Woods
- “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore” by Chris Stapleton
Season 3 (10 Episodes; June 21 – August 23, 2020)
- “Caroline” by Colter Wall
- “Lady May” by Tyler Childers
- “Long White Line” by Sturgill Simpson
But if you want the full list of songs, you can check it out here.
Where can I watch it?
It’s not surprising that Yellowstone is one of the most-watched cable TV shows of 2020. With its star-studded cast, gripping drama, and complicated romances, it’s the perfect show for binge-watching. Unfortunately, if you don’t have cable, you can’t find it on any of the popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
But you’re still not out of luck. You can now watch it on Peacock for $4.99 a month alongside favorite shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, Downton Abbey, and Friday Night Lights. Or you can avail yourself of individual episodes via Amazon or iTunes.
Future Plans: What things to look out for?
With Yellowstone’s ‘through-the-roof’ popularity, fans will get to enjoy not one but two spinoffs!
The first one is Y:1883, a prequel that will explore the start of the Dutton family. According to Paramount, it will tell the story of how the family fled poverty, traveling across the Great Plains to seek a better life in Montana. It is expected to debut this year, but there is still no official date.
The second one is tentatively titled 6666, which will focus on a centuries-old Texas ranch where the finest horses and livestock are raised and where the world-class cowboys are born and made.
It seems like Yellowstone fans will be full with all the content waiting for them this year!