Paramount+ achieved its first certified hit with its television series Yellowstone–a drama following the Dutton family set along the borders between a ranch and reservation. Its proximity to the National Park that bears the same name is relevant, but the aforementioned ranch owned by the Duttons is what gives the show its namesake.
Created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, the show has garnered critical acclaim and great viewership stats for the streaming service. Given its popularity, interest has skyrocketed regarding what makes the show so compelling. The truth is, Yellowstone has gone on an interesting journey to the big screen and sports several factoids that further lend it an air of authenticity.
8 Harvey Weinstein Was Initially A Producer
Harvey Weinstein is infamous in the film industry, with many friendships in the industry; however, his behavior sparked the #MeToo movement and the general societal uprooting out of sexual harassment. In the series’ early development predating the publicizing of Weinstein’s behavior, the film mogul was attached to the series in his executive producing capacity.
When Yellowstone premiered in 2018, The Weinstein Company’s logo was scrubbed from the credits, cementing the Hollywood heavyweight’s downfall. The show has released three seasons since then and moved far beyond the influence of its initial backer.
7 The Chief Joseph Ranch In Montana Substitutes For The Dutton Ranch
The Dutton’s ranch is not a set constructed for the show, but the Chief Joseph Ranch residing in the state of Montana. It continues to operate as a family-owned working ranch as well as hosting guests. It was previously called the Ford-Hollister Ranch due to its owners William S. Ford and Howard Clark Hollister.
The former was a tycoon in the glass industry while Hollister served as a federal judge. It was eventually sold and renamed to its current moniker in the early 1950s.
6 Creator Taylor Sheridan Is An Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter
Taylor Sheridan is an actor and screenwriter who created the TV series after growing tired of his performing on screen. His earlier work includes scripting Sicario, the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water, and Wind River, the latter of which he also directed. Viewers can even spot him on Yellowstone, itself, as Travis Wheatley.
Sheridan has an impressive résumé of successes and continues to build out the Yellowstone universe with spinoffs like 1883. The appetite for rural-themed shows continues to increase along with it, thereby assuring Sheridan’s continued probable benefit.
5 Sheridan Has Lived In Texas & Wyoming
If his filmmaking credentials aren’t enough to sell viewers on his cowboy credibility, Sheridan grew up in Texas as well as having lived in Wyoming. Both of these states are known for their traditions rooted in cowboy culture and undeniably shape how Sheridan interprets the world of Yellowstone.
He loves the old west aesthetic and individuality, seeking to honor it with his creative endeavors. The familiarity with these critical stomping grounds is further evident in the aforementioned Hell or High Water, featuring one scene depicting a desperate last stand in the Texas desert, for which he was nominated at the Academy Awards.
4 The Cast Used Some Of Sheridan’s Personal Horses
Sheridan owns horses, some of which have appeared on Yellowstone. The most notable is Dun It Chexinic, a 2007 bay gelding. Demonstrating his devotion to the series, Sheridan’s volunteering of his own personal horses is also endearing in its own way.
The creator even competed in Careity Celebrity Cutting competition on his own horse in December of 2020. It’s evident Sheridan loves the setting and finds it inspiring to write characters based on said surroundings. Audiences find it similarly interesting as Yellowstone only increases its popularity with each subsequent season.
3 Sheridan Is In The Texas Cowboy Hall Of Fame
Finally, Sheridan was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2021. As the organization’s website says, “Sheridan is passionate about representing the western way of life to the masses and shows the difficult changes agriculture and ranching [have] had to endure… he also wanted the show to not just be about cowboys, but be for cowboys also.”
The writer is enveloped in the life represented on the show, even ranching his own cattle out of Jacksboro, TX. There perhaps is no better creator in the business to envision such a show.
2 The Show’s Casting Led To Controversy
Casting is a tricky business: with the significance of representation only ascending, the wrong choice of actor is potentially damaging to the credibility of an entire series. Mostly perpetrated by the Canadian actor Adam Beach, a controversy erupted surrounding Kelsey Asbille’s casting as Native American character Monica Dutton.
Asbille claimed to have Native American ancestry, but the tribe she cited, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, unearthed no records indicating this. Nevertheless, the actress continues to perform the role currently and the controversy, while arguably valid, has seemingly settled down.
1 The Show Is The First Regular TV Series Role For Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner has an impressive résumé of cinematic success stories; however, he also has his share of duds. As the streaming wars continue to heat up, more actors are being given meatier material that enables them to give extraordinary performances other limited by the succinct film.
Costner is one such actor finding new life as the lead on Yellowstone, but it may shock some viewers to know that this is his very first regular television role. For the most part, the actor has stuck to gambling at the box office, though the aforementioned streaming arms race has shifted the foundation that drives the creative output of Hollywood.