Yellowstone Spinoff Faces Uncertain Future Amid Salary Dispute with Key Stars

Potential Absence of Fan Favorites Beth, Kayce, and Rip

As the popular TV series Yellowstone approaches its conclusion later this year, questions arise about the fate of its beloved characters in the upcoming spinoff series. Paramount Global’s aggressive expansion of the franchise with multiple spinoffs has faced a significant hurdle due to a salary dispute with three of the show’s most prominent stars.

Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler), and Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton) are reportedly at an impasse with producers over their demands for increased compensation. Initially, the trio was not attached to the spinoff series, which was set to feature Matthew McConaughey as the lead actor.

However, Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan seems to have changed his plans, recognizing the importance of fan favorites in ensuring the success of the spinoff. Beth, Kayce, and Rip’s inclusion would significantly boost the show’s chances of success.

Salary Demands and Pay-or-Play Contracts

According to industry sources, Reilly is seeking $1.5 million per episode, while Hauser is asking for $1.25 million. This represents a substantial increase from their current salaries of $700,000 per episode.

Another point of contention is the pay-or-play contracts signed by the actors for Yellowstone Season 6, which was subsequently canceled. Despite the cancellation, the trio will still receive their salaries for the canceled season.

Potential Use of Canceled Season’s Paydays as Leverage

Puck, an industry newsletter, alleges that Paramount and 101 Studios, the production company behind Yellowstone, have considered using the actors’ paydays from the canceled season to offset the salary increases. This proposal has not been well received by the actors, who argue that they are entitled to those funds regardless of the spinoff’s production.

Uncertain Future and Impact on the Spinoff

The outcome of the salary negotiations remains uncertain, and a final decision is expected soon. The potential loss of three beloved characters could pose a significant challenge for the spinoff, especially considering the absence of Kevin Costner, who may not even appear in the final episodes of the main series.

The departures of Reilly, Hauser, and Grimes would place a greater burden on the final episodes of Yellowstone, raising questions about how to wrap up the storylines of characters initially intended to remain on-screen for years.

Yellowstone’s Legacy and Anticipation for Final Episodes

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the spinoff, Yellowstone has enjoyed immense success, and fans eagerly await the final episodes of the main series, scheduled to air on Paramount Network in late 2024. However, the possibility of a disappointing conclusion looms, reminiscent of the controversial ending of Game of Thrones.