Why Kevin Costner’s ‘Yellowstone’ Won’t Get Canceled Anytime Soon

From the outset, it might appear that the Paramount Network’s Yellowstone is a bit of an obscurity considering it’s on a sideline network and not talked about nearly enough. It’s still jaw-dropping how the show managed to land the legendary Kevin Costner in the lead as John Dutton. There was enough interest initially to garner big ratings, albeit maybe not on cable level terms.

Those ratings may have slacked off a tad, yet the show continually does very well. Steady viewership has increased compared to the second season last year.

Now with the third season in production, we have to wonder how long this show will go. If it continues, what will it explore, and will Costner want to stick around? Thanks to movie production values on Yellowstone, the budget will be everything.

‘Yellowstone’ Season 3 is going to bring the Duttons closer together

Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

One could easily argue Yellowstone is like a new western Dallas where a family dynasty struggles to keep their land and business prospects from being raided by outsiders. It’s all about the Dutton Ranch existing right next to Yellowstone National Park, hence one of the most coveted pieces of land in the region.

There’s plenty of lessons to be learned from the show in how owning valuable tracts of land can still be the center of political and governmental tug-of-wars. Part of this involves Native-Americans staking claim to the land and wanting it back.

All of these warring dynamics are probably why the ratings have been so good. Then again, it might have been more the novelty of seeing A-list Costner in a TV series for the first time ever. His old big-screen western persona is classically on display here playing the patriarch of the family. However, the other cast is also compelling, including some occasional guest shots from older acting legends.

Even though we’ve seen a lot of in-fighting with the Duttons, the third season will apparently having them moving closer together for a sense of peace. We all have to wonder if that’s just a ruse for what’s to come later.

‘Yellowstone’ keeps the old west alive

You’ll probably find more than a few people likening Yellowstone to a modern-day western, proving many of the themes of old westerns still hold up in the modern age.

As hard as it is to believe someone could own a coveted piece of land in America, there’s more fact to this than people know. In a place like Montana, there truly are millionaires (or billionaires) who own vast tracts of land. They likely face some of the same issues the Duttons do.

No doubt this is what attracted Costner to the role. Accusing the show of just being a prime-time soap opera probably isn’t the best choice of words to use. The writing is a little more deep-layered than that, not including having cinematic production values.

Yellowstone ultimately fits into the new tradition of the movies coming to television. For the Paramount Network, they couldn’t be happier to do this to compete on the level of the big cable channel behemoths.

Of course, they may be looking directly at Costner for its sustained success, something potentially risky considering he’s making $500,000 per episode.

Could ‘Yellowstone’ survive without Kevin Costner?

The justification for offering Costner such a large salary on the show is because the executives at Paramount Network are flush with cash thanks to other successes there. Offering a big salary is also helping entice bigger stars to do TV shows for the network.

Maybe we’ll see Paramount Network become a real player soon on the level of HBO since Yellowstone has truly devoted fans as much as Game of Thrones had.

Whether this series would survive if Costner left is a debate many fans likely haven’t mulled over yet. Thanks to insightful writing and made like a sprawling big-screen western epic, just having the imprint of Costner having been there might keep it alive for years more if he leaves after the third season.