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  • Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan’s prequel 1883 went from an idea in his head to a series on Paramount+ in an astounding seven months.
  • All the hard work paid off — the show is a huge hit and was just renewed for season 2.
  • Sheridan just announced five new shows, including another Yellowstone prequel 1932.
1883 star Tim McGraw as James and Faith Hill as Margaret of the Paramount+ original series
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

1883 has been a huge hit for Paramount+ in its first season. The streamer doesn’t share viewer statistics, but they have revealed that the Yellowstone prequel is the number one title on the platform to date. And during the first eight episodes, the size of the audience has doubled.

The success of Yellowstone and 1883 is causing Taylor Sheridan’s universe to expand even faster. The Texas-based creator just announced a slate of new shows, including another Yellowstone prequel titled 1932. What’s more, Paramount+ has also renewed 1883 for season 2.

ViacomCBS fast-tracked ‘1883’ to help launch Paramount+

When Sheridan signed his massive $200 million deal with ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global) in early 2021, the plan was for him to create multiple new series for streamer Paramount+. The company was in the middle of rebranding CBS All Access, and they were looking for original content to help them compete in the streaming wars.

When Sheridan shared the pilot script for 1883, Paramount absolutely loved it. According to Wide Open Country, they told Sheridan that they needed the series to air in seven months to help with the launch of the Paramount+.

Taylor Sheridan says he never heard the word ‘no’

Sheridan said that it was impossible to have something on the air in seven months because he had no cast, no locations, and no more scripts. He made it clear to the network that the only way to do it was with lots of cash.

“I said this first episode I’ve written is the best thing I’ve ever written. If I can’t have the time to make it right, I need everything else. I need the toys, I need the cast, I need the team. You will need to trust me, and it’s going to hurt. And I did not hear the word no, at all,” Sheridan explained.

Season 2 of ‘1883’ is officially a go

Sheridan made it happen and got 1883 on the air in December 2021 with a star-studded cast featuring Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliott. Season 1 of the prequel has been so successful that Paramount+ has already renewed it for season 2.

According to The Wall Street Journal, another season of 1883 will air in the fall in the middle of Yellowstone season 5. That’s because the Paramount Network has ordered 14 episodes for the upcoming season instead of 10. The plan is to split season 5 into two halves of seven episodes each.

Part one of season 5 will air on the network in the fall, followed by season 2 of 1883 on Paramount+. Then, Yellowstone season 5 will return for the second half in 2023.

Another ‘Yellowstone’ prequel is coming soon

The timing of the new seasons of Yellowstone and 1883 are very deliberate. That’s because Sheridan’s universe will expand at the end of the year with another Yellowstone prequel titled 1932. Which will follow another generation of the Dutton family during prohibition and the Great Depression.

Sheridan says he chose this time period because “you’re seeing the children we’ve met in 1883 now attempting to raise another generation of Duttons at a time of the Wild West becoming a playground for the elite from the east.”

Just like 1883 last year, 1932 will be fast-tracked so it can hit Paramount+ before the end of 2022. Because of the first prequel’s success, they’ve decided to accelerate everything related to Yellowstone.

‘1883’ gave Paramount the confidence to keep a fast pace and high standards

Chris McCarthy, chief executive of ViacomCBS Media Networks and MTV Entertainment Studios says that they want to “double down” on the momentum of Yellowstone and 1883 instead of wasting it.

“We don’t want to damage the franchise,” McCarthy says. “With the brilliant mind and gifted storytelling of Taylor Sheridan, we have created an entirely new world to explore with 1883 while expanding Yellowstone, and with 1932 we will open up a new chapter in this rapidly growing universe.”


‘1883’ Star Faith Hill On the 1 Scene With Tim McGraw That Made Her ‘Really Uncomfortable’

The company is going all-in with their tandem strategy of linear television with the Paramount Network and the new world of streaming with Paramount+. Fans will get to sample Sheridan’s new shows on TV after Yellowstone like they did with 1883. But to see the rest of each series, fans will have to subscribe to Paramount+.

“Promoting the series through linear sampling on the Paramount Network during their latest record-breaking season of Yellowstone further enabled us to introduce Sheridan’s loyal audience to this fantastic new series,” Tanya Giles, chief programming officer ViacomCBS Streaming, told The Playlist. “We look forward to bringing fans even more of the Duttons’ origin story.”