Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan quickly expanded his TV universe last year with the prequel 1883. The series told the story of the first generation of Duttons — the ancestors of Yellowstone’s John Dutton (Kevin Costner) — who traveled the Oregon Trail and settled in Montana.
1883 was such a big hit that it caused creator Sheridan and Paramount to make some big changes to the franchise. There’s even a spinoff in the works, just not the one fans may have thought.
‘Yellowstone’ prequel ‘1883’ will return later this year with ‘additional episodes’
With Yellowstone being the most-watched TV show of 2021 — and 1883 being a big hit for streamer Paramount+ — Sheridan made some changes to how he will tell the Dutton family story.
The original plan was for 1883 to have a season 2, with a focus on the next generation of Duttons in the early 1900s. Now, 1883 is considered a limited series and they have turned that planned second season into a story for an entirely new prequel that will star Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren — 1932.
According to the series announcement, it will follow a new Dutton generation “during the time of western expansion, pandemics, Prohibition, and the Great Depression.”
Before 1932 premieres in December — and during the mid-season break of Yellowstone season 5 — Paramount+ will feature additional episodes of 1883 to tie up the storyline of James and Margaret Dutton (Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) and transition to the next generation.
An ‘1883’ spinoff is in the works, just not the one fans may have thought
Sheridan currently has a total of nine series on the air or in development, and one of those series is a spinoff of 1883. According to TV Insider, David Oyelowo will star in 1883: The Bass Reeves Story on Paramount+, which is based on the true story of a famous Oklahoma lawman.
Reeves was born in 1838, and he was the first black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. He covered the entire Oklahoma Territory before it became a state, and apprehended over 3,000 criminals during his career without a single wound. He is a legendary American frontier hero, and he was the inspiration for The Lone Ranger.
‘Yellowstone’ creator Taylor Sheridan helped David Oyelowo tell Bass Reeves’ story
For six years, Oyelowo has tried to make a series about Reeves through his production company Yoruba Saxon. They have an overall deal with Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS), just like Sheridan. But it wasn’t until the Yellowstone creator got involved that the project got the green light.
When the series was first announced last year, it wasn’t tied to Yellowstone. But now it will be part of the Yellowstone-verse, telling a different story from the same time period as the prequel 1883.
“Our show happens in the same kind of time period. [Production partner] Jess and I were out in Texas recently with those guys as they were shooting 1883 and that’s very much the world our show plays out in,” Oyelowo told The Wrap in February.
Yellowstone Seasons 1 through 4 are now playing on Peacock. 1883 is streaming on Paramount+. A premiere date for 1883: The Bass Reeves Story has yet to be announced.