'Yellowstone's' final episodes delayed to 2024 amid ongoing actors' strike

“Yellowstone” fans shouldn’t hold their breath for the series’ long-awaited conclusion: Paramount announced Thursday that the final batch of episodes has been delayed until November 2024.

According to a source with knowledge of the production, “Yellowstone” shifted its production schedules due to the dual actors’ and writers’ strikes.

Since the fifth season of Paramount Network’s blockbuster neo-western premiered last fall, viewers have held out through enough behind-the-scenes drama to keep even the warring Dutton clan busy: After reports that Paramount Network and Kevin Costner were at odds over the future of “Yellowstone,” the star and executive producer, co-creator Taylor Sheridan and several other major cast members no-showed for the Paley Center for Media’s annual PaleyFest event in Los Angeles in April.

Then, in May, Paramount announced that the fifth season would be the flagship series’ last, with the final batch of episodes premiering this month.

With Thursday’s news, “Yellowstone” joins the Emmy Awards, “Dune 2” and several other high-profile endeavors postponed by the Hollywood work stoppage, which began when writers went on strike in May; they were joined by actors in July. Though Writers Guild of America members ratified the union’s new contract with the studios early last month, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists remains on the picket lines. Negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, are ongoing.

The Times also confirmed Thursday that Paramount, which had previously announced a sequel series to “Yellowstone,” added two more series to Sheridan’s ever-expanding universe, set in the 1940s and the present day, respectively. “Yellowstone” has already inspired two prequel series, “1883” and “1923,” as well as the spinoffs “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” and “6666.”

“Yellowstone” premiered on Paramount Network in June 2018, starring Costner as John Dutton, the patriarch of the Dutton ranch. The series also stars Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley and Cole Hauser.

During a child support hearing in September, Costner revealed he left “Yellowstone” after he and the studios failed to strike a deal to ensure his continued commitment.

“I couldn’t help them anymore,” he said, People reported. “We tried to negotiate, they offered me less money than previous seasons, there were issues with the creative.” During the hearing he also said that he will “probably go to court” over his compensation for the second half of Season 5.

Sheridan spoke to the Hollywood Reporter in June about Costner’s exit and the challenges he faced bringing the series, and John Dutton, to a close. He also weighed in on Costner’s next directing venture. The Oscar-winning “Dances with Wolves” filmmaker will direct and co-write a four-film series titled “Horizon,” which was at the center of his alleged tensions with Sheridan.

“His movie seems to be a great priority to him and he wants to shift focus,” Sheridan told THR. “I sure hope [the movie is] worth it — and that it’s a good one.”

Times staff writer Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.

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