Kevin Costner is set as the lead in Yellowstone, Paramount Network’s upcoming straight-to-series drama. The project is written and executive produced by Oscar-nominated Hell Or High Water and Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan and executive produced by The Weinstein Company and John Linson and Art Linson (Sons of Anarchy, Fight Club).
Costner, who also is an executive producer, will play John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders — land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park. It is an intense study of a violent world far from media scrutiny — where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world’s largest oil and lumber corporations. Where drinking water poisoned by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news: they are a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of America seen through the eyes of a family that represents both.
Yellowstone is the first scripted drama series greenlighted by Paramount Network, Viacom’s new general entertainment network and leading scripted brand, which will replace Spike in early 2018, The 10-episode series is slated to go into production in the fall for premiere on the network in summer 2018.
The project marks Oscar winner Costner’s first major return to television in five years following his starring role in History miniseries Hatfield & McCoys, which earned him an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award. His most recent film work includes starring roles in Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures, Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and McFarland, USA.
“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, Development and Production, 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,” Cox added.
“Taylor Sheridan wrote a giant of a character in lead John Dutton,” says TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. “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.”
Executive producers for Yellowstone include John Linson, Art Linson, Sheridan, Weinstein and David Glasser.