EXCLUSIVE: Fans of cable TV’s top rated series Yellowstone who are accustomed to following the Dutton clan each summer will have to hold their horses for Season 4. Deadline hears that the show has officially left the warm season slot it held for its first three seasons. While no one would confirm a rock solid debut date, I hear they are eyeing early November for the start of the new season of the Paramount Network series. It will join the launch corridor for most returning prestige and must see shows, when eyeballs are optimized and Yellowstone gets the chance to cross promote on CBS’ NFL broadcasts, with a season that will run through the holidays.
Joining the cast in Season 4 will be Jacki Weaver, who’ll play Caroline Warner, the CEO of Market Equities that is trying to crush the hold that John Dutton (Kevin Costner) has on his sprawling Montana ranch. Anyone who watched Weaver in her breakthrough film Animal Kingdom can see the possibilities. Also joining will be Covert Affairs‘ Piper Perabo, who’ll play a protester from Portland who is against the state funded police force that protects industrialized farming and the killing of animals; Nashville‘s Kathryn Kelly, who’ll play a vet tech who strikes up a relationship with a Dutton ranch cowboy; and Finn Little (Those Who Wish Me Dead), who’ll play Carter, a youth reminiscent of a young Rip (Cole Hauser) whom the Duttons gave a home. Here, Beth decides the ranch is the best place to teach the youth how to be a man. Weaver, Perabo and Kelly will be recurring; Little has signed on as series regular. For that matter, so has Will Patton, who surfaced last season as black sheep Jamie Dutton’s biological father, a man with a murderous past who has told his son the way to wrest control of the ranch business is to kill the king.
Paramount Network will show a July 4 weekend marathon of every previous episode starting 12 PM Est Saturday, July 3, including teasers on the upcoming season. The series is co-produced by 101 Studios, co-created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, and the Executive Producers include John Linson, Art Linson, Taylor Sheridan, Kevin Costner, David C. Glasser, Bob Yari and Stephen Kay.
In addition, Deadline hears that 1883, the prequel series for Paramount+ that tells the story of the Dutton Family’s move Westward from poverty to the promised land in Montana, will begin production late summer in Texas. The spinoff series tells the story of Manifest Destiny that brought settlers seeking an escape from poverty into conflict with the Native Americans who lived on the unspoiled plains.
In Yellowstone, it’s ranch patriarch John Dutton trying to hold back a contemporary version of Manifest Destiny, staving off real estate speculators who want to develop his pristine Montana acreage. By the end of Season 3, his quest looked more perilous than ever, as it was an open question whether Dutton or his children Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Kayce (Luke Grimes) would even survive for the start of Season 4.
The push to November means that Yellowstone die-hards will have to wait a bit longer to find out. You’ll recall — Spoiler Alert — the season ended with John Dutton sitting by the side of the road after being shot up by assassins, saved when a bullet hit the smart phone in his shirt pocket. Beth’s office was firebombed with her in it, and Kayce had just turned over his desk and was trading gunfire with several assassins. And adopted son Jamie (Wes Bentley) told Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) to stop calling him, after the head ranch man (and Beth’s fiance) frantically tried to find the missing members of the Dutton clan as all hell was breaking loose. Were the attacks launched by the financial killers behind takeover corporation Market Equities? Was it Jamie Dutton, after rekindling a relationship with the biological father who murdered his mother? Or even Thomas Rainwater, the principled tribe leader and casino owner who’d just been provoked by an advisor to knock off Dutton and take his land?