If there was any doubt that Yellowstone is cable's most popular TV series, then the premiere night ratings put that to rest. The Kevin Costner-led neo-Western continues to be a massive hit, despite being on the upstart Paramount Network and having befuddling streaming rules. More than 12 million viewers tuned in to see John Dutton (Kevin Costner) sworn in as the governor of Montana in the series' two-episode premiere on Nov. 13. It was the biggest overnight audience for the show ever, and the most-watched non-football telecast of the week.
Season 5 continues this Sunday with the fifth episode of the season, "Watch'em Ride Away." Here's everything we know about Yellowstone Season 5, including the latest news, release date, cast details, and trailers.
As mentioned above, Yellowstone drew its biggest audience ever for an overnight broadcast, pulling in 12.1 million viewers across all its airings on Sunday, Nov. 13. A whopping 8.8 million viewers watched the premiere on Paramount Network, and the difference was made up in simulcasts on CMT, Pop, and TV Land, as well as encore presentations later that night. This show is BIG.
It's just the fourth week of Yellowstone Season 5, but because the premiere was a two-episode event, this Sunday's episode will be the fifth episode of the season. "Watch'em Ride Away" will air Sunday, Dec. 4 at 8/7c on Paramount Network. Here's how to watch Yellowstone Season 5 with or without cable.
Yellowstone returned to Paramount Network for Season 5 on Sunday, Nov. 13 with the first two episodes, "One Hundred Years is Nothing" and "The Sting of Wisdom," back to back. Subsequent episodes will air weekly. Season 5 will consist of 14 episodes, divided up into two chunks. It's the biggest season so far, and there are rumors circulating about Part 2 air dates, but it's not yet clear how long that mid-season hiatus will be.
Need to catch up on the recent episodes? Read our full recaps of the latest Season 5 episodes.
After four seasons of manipulation, scheming, and wrestling with power over Montana's relatively untouched beauty, new governor John Dutton is now calling the shots, with Beth (Kelly Reilly) running the show behind him. His intentions are clear in the two-part premiere of Season 5. The ranch hands have not changed their ways, despite John's new gig, which makes for some of the best scenes in these premiere episodes. Read the full review here:
The full-length Yellowstone Season 5 trailer confirms that John Dutton wins the race for governor, so the Dutton family is heading to Helena. However, it's clearly not going to be easy, as John doesn't "have any friends in the building" and it looks like he's going to go to war with Jacki Weaver's Caroline Warner. Jamie is back in the fold, it seems, and serving as his father's political advisor, but it doesn't look like things are hunky-dory between them. Meanwhile, Beth is taking charge as chief of staff, and if that means fighting dirty with the family's myriad opponents, so be it.
If the response to the new trailer is any indication, Season 5 is going to be a massive hit. More than 14 million people watched the trailer in its first 24 hours of release, according to Deadline, which translates to triple the amount of views that the Season 4 trailer got in the same period. Giddyup!
There are some familiar and new faces on the ranch in Season 5. Josh Lucas will return as young John Dutton for the first time since Season 3, and it seems like we'll be doing a lot of flashbacks, because he'll be joined by Kylie Rogers as young Beth and Kyle Red Silverstein as young Rip. Jacki Weaver also returns as the Duttons' latest business foe, Market Equities CEO Caroline Warner, with Mo Brings Plenty and Wendy Moniz being promoted to series regulars as Thomas Rainwater's (Gil Birmingham) right-hand man Mo and former governor Lynelle Perry, respectively.
There are four new characters coming to Yellowstone as well. Kai Caster will play a young cowboy named Rowdy. Lainey Wilson is playing a musician named Abby. Lilli Kai will play Clara Brewer, a new assistant for one of the Duttons (we feel bad for her already). And 1883's Dawn Olivieri joins the cast as Sarah Atwood, a Montana newcomer and "corporate shark," according to the official character description.
There's another new face coming to Season 5, and this time it's a young girl who will be part of Carter's expanding storyline. EW reports that Orli Gottesman will be joining the cast in a guest role as Halie, a young, confident girl drawn to Carter. "In Season 5, Halie becomes that person who gives Carter the chance to come out of his shell and to teach him not only about himself, but he finds himself always wanting Halie to be around," goes her character description. "Halie comes along and now there is someone who can fit that mold and be there for him."
Kathryn Kelly, who plays Jimmy's fiancée, Emily, has also been promoted to series regular and will return along with Jefferson White as Jimmy. That means that despite having chosen the Four Sixes over Yellowstone, the reformed trouble magnet will be sticking around somehow.
Yellowstone Season 5 picked up after the bloody events of the Season 4 finale; Beth (Kelly Reilly), who we all know is the real brains behind every operation on the Yellowstone-Dutton Ranch, manipulated her adopted brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) into killing his biological father, Garrett (Will Patton). After it was revealed that Garrett was the one who ordered the attempted hits on John, Beth, and Kayce (Luke Grimes) back in Season 3, Beth figured he had it coming. She also made sure to hang onto the evidence, so now she's got Jamie under her thumb and out of the governor's race, clearing the way for their father to be the only Dutton running for office. She also just got hitched to Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) and watched her father's new, confusing vegan special friend (Piper Perabo) head off to jail, so basically, it's Beth's world and everyone else is just living in it.
Complicating Beth's quest for world/Montana domination is the fact that Kayce has been on a heck of a spiritual journey that showed him a vision of two paths. At least one of those paths, as he told Monica (Kelsey Asbille), would result in "the end of us." Whatever that means, it can't be good, and it makes the long wait for Season 5 even tougher.
Paramount+ dropped an "Inside Yellowstone Season 5" video on Oct. 31, with Sheridan and the cast talking candidly about what to expect in the new season. "John has proven time and again there's nothing he won't do to save the ranch," Kevin Costner said, adding, "He's more than ready to make a decision that doesn't land popularly." You can watch the video below.
Production began on Season 5 in the summer. The cast members regularly showed off the beautiful filming locations on social media, like this view shared by Cole Hauser. The pic, along with his caption about Season 5, seemingly puts to bed any rumors that he won't be returning to the show — although tomorrow's never promised in the Wild West.
Yellowstone is no longer alone in the world of Taylor Sheridan shows about ranchers. One prequel miniseries, 1883, aired on Paramount+ late last year, and revealed the origin story of the Dutton family arriving in Montana. The series starred Isabel May as the brave and adventurous teenager Elsa, elder sister to John Dutton's grandfather, John Sr., and Tim McGraw as her father, James. An 1883 spin-off called 1883: The Bass Reeves Story will star David Oyelowo as Reeves, the legendary first Black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi. He was a former enslaved person who arrested over 3,000 criminals.
In December, a second Yellowstone prequel, titled 1923, will pick up after 1883 with the next generation of Duttons tending to their ranch during the aftermath of World War I and the start of Prohibition. That show will star Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, who will be playing Jacob and Cara Dutton, the brother and sister-in-law to Tim McGraw's James Dutton from 1883.
Sheridan is also writing a Yellowstone spin-off called 6666, which takes place at the real historic Four Sixes ranch in Texas (which Sheridan owns) and tells the story of how the ranch has continued to operate in the same way today as it did over a century ago. That spin-off will air on Paramount Network, along with the original show.
At the 2022 Oscars Red Carpet, Yellowstone star Kevin Costner said he has "no doubt there'll be more spin-offs." "I didn't even know about the spin-offs that were coming," he added. "I just kind of do my thing, hit my marks, and go, 'Wow, this thing is really going well.'" Going well indeed.
If you think you're a fan of Yellowstone but want to become a super fan, then check out TV Guide's compilation of 30 (and counting) fun facts and behind-the-scenes secrets about the show, including how you can visit the real Dutton ranch and what it takes to be a cowboy on a Taylor Sheridan show.
Yellowstone Seasons 1-4 are streaming on Peacock. Season 5 will air on the Paramount Network. Here are more ways to watch Yellowstone.