2:22pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Taylor Sheridan Sets 'Yellowstone' Spinoff, Oil Drama at Paramount+
ViacomCBS is turning Taylor Sheridan into a brand for streamer Paramount+.
The Yellowstone creator is adding a third show to the franchise with a spinoff rumored to be featuring characters from the flagship series. The spinoff joins Sheridan's previously announced Yellowstone prequel series, Y: 1883, on Paramount+.
Sheridan has also set a sixth show for ViacomCBS with Land Man, based on Imperative Entertainment and Texas Monthly's Boomtown podcast. That series will also call Paramount+ its home and join Paramount Network transfer Mayor of Kingstown, starring Jeremy Renner, and spy drama Lioness on the streamer that is poised to be rebranded from CBS All Access on March 4. (Watch to Sheridan discuss his vision for all of his shows in the video interview below.)
Here's how the Yellowstone spinoff — tentatively titled 6666 — is described: Founded when Comanches still ruled West Texas, no ranch in America is more steeped in the history of the West than the 6666. Still operating as it did two centuries before, and encompassing an entire county, the 6666 is where the rule of law and the laws of nature merge in a place where the most dangerous thing one does is the next thing … The 6666 is synonymous with the merciless endeavor to raise the finest horses and livestock in the world, and ultimately where world-class cowboys are born and made. Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, David Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari exec produce.
Land Man, meanwhile, is based on the 11-part podcast about the West Texas oil industry. The drama is set in the proverbial boomtowns of West Texas and described as a modern-day tale of fortune seeking in the world of oil rigs. The series is an upstairs/downstairs story of roughnecks and wildcat billionaires fueling a boom so big, it’s reshaping our climate, our economy and our geopolitics. Land Man will be executive produced by Sheridan and produced by Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari. The series is additionally exec produced by Imperative Entertainment (All the Money in the World).
The Yellowstone spinoff and Land Man are produced by ViacomCBS' MTV Entertainment Studios and Glasser's 101 Studios. "Yellowstone is the No. 1 show, with tens of millions of fans based on the characters Taylor has created and his gift for world building," said Chris McCarthy, who serves as president of the MTV Entertainment Group. "With Paramount+, our strategy is to supercharge subscribers by franchising our biggest hit IP like we’re doing with Yellowstone prequel Y:1883 and build new IP with marquee creative talent like Taylor."
With the untitled spinoff, the world of Yellowstone grows to three series as the flagship awaits a premiere date for its fourth season on linear cabler Paramount Network. (The former Spike TV is again being rebranded this year as the Paramount Movie Network.) Yellowstone has been a monster hit for Paramount Network. The season three finale from last August notched a series high 5.16 million total viewers, capping a season that crowned the show as the most watched cable entertainment program of 2020. The Kevin Costner-led series, co-created by Sheridan and John Linson, is currently streaming on NBCUniversal's Peacock as ViacomCBS looks to broaden the show's reach before likely bringing the library back to Paramount+.
Sheridan renewed his nine-figure overall deal with ViacomCBS this month. The pact includes five cycles per year of scripted and procedural series and will see Sheridan supply content for MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios for platforms including but not limited to CBS, Paramount Network, Paramount+ and other ViacomCBS brands. He will also have the ability to sell to third-party buyers.
Yellowstone was the first drama picked up to series for Paramount Network after it was rebranded (from Spike TV) as a general entertainment destination by former Viacom exec Kevin Kay. (It was Kay who kicked off talks for an overall deal with Sheridan years ago.) Yellowstone has become a signature hit for Paramount and inspired McCarthy, who oversees all of ViacomCBS' basic cable networks, to build around event-style originals with big characters at their center, be they scripted series or original movies.
"Taylor, Paramount+ and MTV Entertainment Studios have been incredible partners to us at 101 over the years,” said Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios. "Together, we have been able to build Yellowstone into an immersive universe for audiences globally. And that is what we intend to do with these series as well. We will be introducing new characters and story lines alongside world-class talent and creators. We are very much looking forward to bringing these shows to life."
The rebranding of Paramount+ is designed to fully integrate brands like Paramount, MTV, Comedy Central and more from under the ViacomCBS umbrella. To that end, a new incarnation of MTV's The Real World — titled Homecoming and featuring the original New York cast — will be available at when CBS All Access is relaunched as Paramount+ on March 4. The Paramount TV Studios slate was but one of many announcements unveiled during Wednesday's presentation to investors.
Sheridan is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment, Elevate Entertainment and Meyer & Downs.