McConaughey could lead an extension series of the Taylor Sheridan hit at Paramount.
There’s drama back at the ranch.
Matthew McConaughey is in talks with Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan for a spinoff series, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The negotiations are described as ongoing with no deal yet struck, but the idea is for the Interstellar actor to lead a new series set within the Yellowstone universe.
The news comes as Deadline reports that Paramount Network may be moving to end its franchise-leader Yellowstone early due to scheduling battles with star Kevin Costner.
Costner reportedly demanded to only work for a single week on the second half of season five, which is returning this summer. The first half of the season aired its midseason finale Jan. 1. The episode set up a potentially deadly battle ahead between Costner’s character and his son, played by Wes Bentley.
With or without its star, Yellowstone as a series is expected to continue, insiders say. Paramount Network released this statement: “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.”
While Costner’s filming schedule is said to be the centerpiece of the impasse, some sources cautioned that the news of his possible departure, paired with the potential ending of the flagship series, could be a negotiating tactic by Paramount Global brass including Chris McCarthy, who oversees the franchise for the conglomerate.
Costner plays patriarch John Dutton on the series and recently won the Golden Globe for best actor for the role. Paramount also currently has its popular Yellowstone prequel series, 1923 starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, which will return for a second season.
The first half of Yellowstone’s fifth season averaged 8.2 million same-day viewers for Paramount Network, better than any scripted show on broadcast or cable networks so far this season. It also draws more viewers in the key ad demographic of adults 18-49 (just under 2 million for initial airings) than any primetime network or cable show, excluding sports.
Costner’s reps at WME did not return a request for comment. Paramount Network and MTV Entertainment Studios representatives did not return a request for comment. — Lesley Goldberg and Rick Porter contributed to this report.
More to come.