Yellowstone: Kevin Costner Initially Planned to Star in One Season, Reveals When He Will Exit the Series

Yellowstone is back on the Paramount Network after a brief wait from the climactic conclusion of Season 4. Kevin Costner, who plays John Dutton and the owner of the Yellowstone Ranch, returned to assume the position of Montana’s Governor, giving the landowner more power than he’s ever seen. But, as it turns out, John Dutton was almost a short-lived character, with Costner saying he initially planned to do one season and exit the series.

The actor recently sat down with USA Today, discussing the fifth season of Yellowstone, his character’s new direction, and when he believes he will leave the long-running series. Although nothing is set in stone, Costner says he will exit the Paramount show when he feels “that it’s not right.”

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“I was only going to do one season, but I’ve done this many,” the actor says when asked about his potential return for Season 6. “I give everything I can to what I’m doing. But the moment I feel that it’s not right, I’m just going to step away.” Losing John Dutton would be a massive shake-up for the series, as he is the glue holding his family together through the first four seasons.

But, of course, Yellowstone could continue to be a success, with stars like Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton), Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Wes Bentley (Jamie Dutton), and Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler) leading the way. For now, fans can tune into Yellowstone Season 5, with new episodes premiering every Sunday on the Paramount Network.

Is the Yellowstone Universe Expanding Too Fast?

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Yellowstone has seen tremendous success for Paramount, becoming one of the biggest shows on television after its premiere in 2018. Taylor Sheridan, who co-created Yellowstone along with the upcoming spinoffs, saw a universe worth exploring with the Duttons. 1883, the first spinoff, ended earlier this year with its one-season run, achieving success with both critics and audiences.

The series starred Sam Elliot, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill through ten episodes that followed the Dutton family as they embarked on a journey west. Now, the 2nd prequel in the show is ready to premiere with 1923. Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren star alongside one another, playing Jacob and Cara Dutton, the great-great uncle and aunt to Costner’s character. In addition, several other projects are in the works, including 6666, a spinoff focused on the titular ranch in Texas. Then, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story will act as a spinoff to the prequel, further expanding the shared universe.

USA Today asked Costner whether he felt there were too many spinoffs introduced at once from Sheridan, though he believes it’s up to the writer to make it work. “It all depends on the writing,” Costner explains. “What you do needs to stand up. And that’s what I’m watching constantly.”

Fans can tune into the latest prequel, 1923, when it premieres on Paramount+ later next month, on Dec. 18. If you want to see more of Taylor Sheridan’s work, his latest series, Tulsa King, starring Sylvester Stallone, is available to stream on Paramount+ with new episodes releasing every Sunday.