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Kevin Costner is coming to the small screen.
Yellowstone — picked up straight-to-series as the first show developed specifically for the rebranded Paramount Network — revolves around the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. that is under constant attack by those it borders: land developers, an Indian reservation and America’s first National Park.
The 10-episode drama from Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water, Sicario) is described as a study of a violent world far from media scrutiny — where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world’s largest oil and lumber corporations. Where drinking water poisoned by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news, but a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of America seen through the eyes of a family that represents both.
“Our goal is to bring premium cinematic storytelling to television. With an icon such as Kevin Costner in front of the camera, and the renowned Taylor Sheridan behind the camera, we are off to a great start,” said Keith Cox, president of development and production at Paramount Network and TV Land. “We are thrilled to have such a celebrated actor as Costner to play the lead role in such an important project for Paramount Network.”
Sheridan will write and direct Yellowstone. John and Art Linson (Sons of Anarchy, Fight Club, Heat) will exec produce alongside the Weinstein Co.’s Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser as well as Sheridan. Costner will also be credited as an EP.
Yellowstone is Costner’s first series regular role. He won an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award for his role in the History miniseries Hatfields and McCoys, and counts Dances With Wolves, Hidden Figures, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, JFK and Untouchables among his credits. The actor, repped by WME and Rod Lake, earned best picture and best director Oscars for Dances With Wolves.
Paramount Television will rebrand itself from Spike TV in January. Production on Yellowstone begins in the fall ahead of a summer 2018 launch. Paramount Network is one of six core networks identified as part of Viacom CEO Bob Bakish’s new plan to reinvigorate the media conglomerate. Costner’s casting marks a big play for Paramount Network and sends a message to the town of the types of projects (and talent) Cox and Bakish are looking for as they attempt to turn Viacom’s fortunes around.
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