A Timeline of Kevin Coster’s ‘Yellowstone’ Drama for Everyone Lost and Confused

A Timeline of Kevin Coster’s ‘Yellowstone’ Drama for Everyone Lost and Confused

Truly didn’t think Yellowstone could get more dramatic than the literal…plot of Yellowstone, but now Kevin Costner is in court teasing a lawsuit, the show is ending early, the back half of the final season is in a state of ¯_(ツ)_/¯, and everyone seems mad at each other even though they won’t admit it. Basically, the vibes are similar to that huge fight your friend group had back in high school, and probably around the same maturity level. But the timeline of it all can be kinda confusing, so we’re breaking it down, starting with January 2023.

January 1, 2023

Yellowstone airs its season 5 midseason finale. Little did fans know the ch-ch-changes that were coming.

February 6, 2023

Deadline drops a bombshell report that Yellowstone may end in “spectacular fashion,” noting co-creator/showrunner Taylor Sheridan and Paramount are “plotting” a potential franchise extension with Matthew McConaughey.

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The outlet alleges that Kevin Costner‘s been having “disagreements” over the shooting schedule and “only wanted to spend a week shooting” the second half of season 5. (Note: Kevin was also starring in and directing his upcoming western Horizon: An American Saga at the time).

Deadline says of the Matthew McConaughey spin-off, “The new project is way more than just talk, borne out of the continued disagreements over the lessening amount time Costner is willing to spend shooting the series.”

Despite Deadline’s intel, Paramount releases a statement debunking the rumors, saying, “We have no news to report. Kevin Costner is a big part of Yellowstone and we hope that’s the case for a long time to come. Thanks to the brilliant mind of Taylor Sheridan, we are always working on franchise expansions of this incredible world he has built. Matthew McConaughey is a phenomenal talent with whom we’d love to partner.”

February 13, 2022

In truly awkward timing, Kevin wins a Golden Globe and doesn’t attend the event due to flooding in Santa Barbara. He releases a thank you speech but doesn’t actually mention Yellowstone.

February 25, 2023

Wes Bentley chats about the show potentially ending to Entertainment Weekly, saying, “The news that’s come out recently about the show is, you know, it’s above my pay grade. Different people making decisions. I know that they’re still working on… working things out with everyone, to make sure we shoot. And I’m confident we will. We always have before. I think it’s probably a bit of drama over nothing.”

April 1, 2023

A bunch of the Yellowstone cast—including Kevin—don’t show up to PaleyFest, causing fans to spiral.

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But Paramount exec Keith Cox shows up and, according to Entertainment Tonight, says they “are very confident [Kevin’s] going to continue with our show.”

May 5, 2023

The Hollywood Reporter drops news that Yellowstone is ending and reports the show’s final episodes will air in November 2023. (Side note: they won’t be! We’ll explain in a minute.) The outlet notes Kevin is working on his “Western passion project” Horizon, and there is no “insight into Costner’s level of participation” in the back half of the Yellowstone season.

June 21, 2023

Taylor Sheridan updates THR about where things stand with Kevin, saying, “My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct. He and the network were arguing about when he could be done with Yellowstone. I said, ‘We can certainly work a schedule toward [his preferred exit date],’ which we did.”

He also notes there are discussions re: Kevin filming scenes to wrap up his character arc. “I’m disappointed,” he says. “It truncates the closure of his character. It doesn’t alter it, but it truncates it.”



July 21, 2023

The Hollywood Reporterwhich is truly just all over this storyreleases info about what we know about the final episodes of Yellowstone, noting they will actually drop in *2024* due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

As they put it: “Yellowstone had not begun production before the strike was called, and the scripts from creator Sheridan, who writes the entire series, were not yet complete.”

September 1, 2023

While testifying at a child support hearing amid his divorce, Kevin finally gives insight into the Yellowstone drama. Some highlights, per People.

  • Kevin says he “changed” his schedule on Horizon to shoot the first half of Yellowstone season 5, noting “that’s a big deal in this world.”
  • He says there were “no scripts written” for the second part of season 5, and they landed on him doing a “pay or play” (which is when an actor gets paid whether or not production happens).
  • He says he was supposed to get $12 million for each half of season 5, and when asked if he’d been paid for the second half said, “I will probably go to court over it.”
  • Re: Season 6, Kevin said, “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….”

Annnnd that brings us up to date! TBD what happens with Kevin’s participation in the back half of Yellowstone season 5, but here’s to hoping his character faces some kind of resolution….


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Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm, She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade. 

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