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What can Yellowstone Season 5 tell us about the new spin-off?
One thing about the Yellowstone universe is that it's going to keep expanding. Creator Taylor Sheridan's empire of cowboys and tough guys is a television phenomenon, and it's got a growing list of spin-offs to prove it. Prequels 1883, which debuted in 2021, and 1923, which premiered last December, explore the Dutton family's history, and more shows are on the way. (That's on top of Sheridan's other shows set outside the Yellowstone family: The Mayor of Kingstown and Tulsa King.)
One upcoming Yellowstone spin-off series is 6666, which will follow the lives of cowboys living and working on Texas' 6666 Ranch (pronounced "Four Sixes"). Yellowstone fans have seen this ranch before — the enormous property was first introduced in Season 4 when underachieving ranch hand Jimmy (Jefferson White) got sent there to try to get his act together. It reappeared in Season 5, Episode 7, when John Dutton (Kevin Costner) considered sending his cattle there for the winter, and Beth (Kelly Reilly) got inspired to start selling Yellowstone-branded beef after looking at the 6666's thriving website (that was some well-integrated product placement for a company Sheridan co-owns, wasn't it?).
We spent so much time there that it almost seemed like the idea for 6666 got folded into Yellowstone instead of becoming its own show, but that turned out to not be the case, and 6666 is still in development at Paramount Network. Yellowstone: 6666 was announced in 2021, and we still don't know too much about it, but as we look toward the return of Yellowstone Season 5, we're keeping track of everything we know about the spin-off 6666.
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According to a press release from Paramount, the show will explore the history of the legendary 6666 Ranch: "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 has inspired a new scripted series 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."
No official cast has been announced for 6666. However, in Season 4 of Yellowstone, Jimmy was sent to the Four Sixes to be whipped into shape. He fell in love with the place and decided to stay instead of going back to the Yellowstone Ranch. White and Kathryn Kelly, who plays Emily — Jimmy's girlfriend, whom he met at the Four Sixes — returned to Yellowstone in Season 5's midseason finale, which could help the flagship show set up the new series. Or perhaps Rip (Cole Hauser) and Beth will take a journey that will end up at the 6666, as hinted at in Season 5, Episode 7, when John assigned Rip to lead a move of half of the Yellowstone's cattle to a place with a mild winter, and Beth said she'd come with him.
Ultimately, it's probably unlikely that Rip and Beth would leave Yellowstone — unless big changes are in store for the franchise. In early February, Deadline reported that Kevin Costner would be leaving Yellowstone, bringing an end to the original series "in its current form," and that a new Yellowstone spin-off starring Matthew McConaughey was in development. (In response, a Paramount Network spokesperson commented, "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.") If the franchise is getting a shakeup, which might be for the best, could McConaughey star in 6666? While that seems like a perfect fit — ol' shirtless Matt loves reppin' his home state of Texas — nothing has been confirmed. However, Sheridan is known to wrangle big stars for his project, so it's not out of the question.
An interview Sheridan did with Deadline in December 2022 says that much of "the next season" of Yellowstone will be filmed at the 6666, which is where Sheridan has his base of operations.
According to legend, Samuel Burnett won the ranch in a card game with four sixes. However, his descendants deny that story and say the name of the ranch actually comes from the fact that Burnett branded his first herd of cattle with "6666." You say it as "Four Sixes," not "Six Six Six Six" or "Sixty-Six Sixty-Six."
After hearing about the 6666's real-life history, you might be surprised it took as long as it did for Sheridan to tap into its storytelling potential. Sheridan purchased the Four Sixes ranch in May 2021, after its previous owner passed away in 2020 — the first time the ranch had been sold in over 150 years. It was established by Samuel Burnett, a rancher and oilman, in 1900 and spans three counties and over 450,000 acres in Texas. Burnett died in 1922, and the ranch was passed down through the generations to his great-granddaughter Anne Windfohr Marion.
Anne Windfohr Marion could have been a Taylor Sheridan character herself, and has a full Wikipedia page about how cool she was. She was a rancher and businesswoman who served as chair of the Burnett Oil Company. She founded the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, as well as the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. She was married four times and owned seven homes, including a mansion in Fort Worth and a Fifth Avenue apartment in New York. She made the Forbes billionaires list a few times, including in 2006, when her net worth was estimated at $1.1 billion. Hopefully there's a character based on her in 6666, because she sounds larger than life.
Paramount has not confirmed the number of episodes in 6666. Both Yellowstone and 1883 have previously featured 10 per season, while 1923 had 8 episodes in its first season.
No release date has been announced for 6666, but the show is currently expected to premiere in 2023.
6666 will join Yellowstone in airing on Paramount Network. Fellow spin-offs 1883, 1923, and the upcoming 1883: The Bass Reeves Story are exclusive to Paramount+.
Previous seasons of Yellowstone are available to stream on Peacock, but 6666 will likely stream on Paramount+ after it airs on Paramount Network.