The Real Reason ‘Yellowstone’ Is Ending After Season 5


Yellowstone took the world by storm after its premiere in 2018. The Western drama follows patriarch John Dutton III, owner of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, the largest ranch in the United States, and he’s also Montana Livestock Commissioner and later the governor of Montana. The show also features a number of characters including Dutton’s Navy SEAL son Kayce, protective and scheming daughter Beth, attorney general son Jamie, and right-hand man, enforcer, and ranch foreman Rip Wheeler.

The Paramount Network original has racked up a Golden Globe win and nominations at the Emmys, Screen Actors Guild, and Producers Guild of America Awards during its time on TV, and it’s also spawned an impressive network of prequels and spinoffs. Yellowstone also features a strong cast, and Kevin Costner has earned rave reviews for his portrayal as Dutton. Things seemed to be going well with the show until things hit a snag in mid-2023, with rumors of a conflict between Costner and the team behind the show, including creator Taylor Sheridan.

Sheridan denied that he and Costner were at odds, but when it was announced that season 5 of Yellowstone would be its last and Costner was likely not going to appear on the second part of the season at all, fans were stunned and didn’t quite understand what was going on. Things got even more confusing when once the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes started, as the already delayed season was pushed back even more. Luckily, we have all that information on just what caused the show’s cancellation. Read on for the real reason Yellowstone will end after its fifth season.

Why Is Yellowstone Ending After Season 5?

Yellowstone is ending after season five because of a scheduling dispute. Season 5 was always meant to be split into two parts, but that decision didn’t sit well with Costner. The actor was working on his own four-movie franchise titled Horizon: An American Saga, and the split schedule cut into his time to direct and film his movies. The rumor was that Costner only wanted to film for a certain number of days, but the Yellowstone team told him that that wouldn’t be possible since he’s the lead actor on the show and needed to be on set for more days. These rumors were later confirmed when during his divorce battle, People reported that Costner revealed he had already moved his schedule around to film Part One, and he didn’t want to do that again for Part Two.


But in a bit of a twist, Costner also said that he had in fact wanted to return for the now-canceled Season 6, but after negotiations broke down he decided to leave once and for all. “I couldn’t help them any more. We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons, there were issues with the creative… we came up with a number, and they [Yellowstone] walked away.” The actor also stated that he would “probably” go to court over his salary for the second part of Season 5.

However, it’s unclear if Costner will actually make an appearance on the second part of Season 5. Sheridan noted that Costner’s departure didn’t in fact change his original plan for the character, so Costner could appear to close out his character arc, or his absence could just be explained away. “I’m disappointed. It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it,” Sheridan told The Hollywood Reporter.

Why is there such a big gap between Yellowstone Season 5 Part One and Season 5 Part Two?

As for the large gap between part one and part two, that’s due to both the scheduling dispute and the ensuing strikes in Hollywood. Since Costner and the Yellowstone team couldn’t agree on a filming schedule, part two kept getting pushed back. Its original premiere date was going to be in summer 2023, but that was then moved to November. It was later announced that Yellowstone season 5, part 2 would premiere in November 2024 — about a year and ten months after the conclusion of part one.

The good news is there is another show coming to replace Yellowstone. While specific details are currently unknown, (we don’t know if the show will continue to follow members of the Dutton family or if the storyline and cast will be something totally different), there is a Matthew McConaughey-led series, reportedly titled 2024, that is coming after Yellowstone ends.