Taylor Sheridan recently revealed some juicy tidbits about his two most recent series, “1883,” and “1923,” the latter of which premiered on Dec. 18 to incredible ratings. He spoke to Deadline about how he reached out to Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford, his “eureka moment” for the Dutton continuation, and also his reaction when the higher-ups at Paramount demanded that he make a second season of “1883.”
“I know [executives] read the scripts, but they don’t read scripts, so when they read the last episode of 1883, I don’t think they digested what had just happened, even though I made it quite clear from the very beginning,” Sheridan explained when asked what led him to continue the Dutton story.
“The story I heard is [president of Paramount Global] Bob Bakish watched it and said, ‘wait a minute, she dies! They all die? What do we do in season two?’” he continued. “I said, there is no season two. They’re like, there better be a f—ing season two because we already picked it up. I’m sitting here going, guys everyone is dead.”
There seems to have been a miscommunication, or the executives just didn’t quite understand how Taylor Sheridan works. Ever wonder why “1883” wasn’t billed as a limited series when it was totally a limited series? Apparently, the network didn’t completely understand Sheridan’s brand of storytelling.
Taylor Sheridan Explains How Paramount Execs Wanted to Bring One Crucial Character Back to Life for ‘1883’ Season Two
Taylor Sheridan went on to explain how the network executives tried to devise a way to let one important main character survive their death.
“They wanted to have a meeting about how Sam Elliott survived his suicide,” he revealed. “By the very nature of the term it’s not something survivable, and who would want to see that?”
He then went on to reveal the turning point that led to “1923.” According to Sheridan, “So, I said I’ll come up with another peek into the window and I sat there and tried to look at it. I studied Montana’s history and the history of the world. Covid was ending, which is a very similar thing to World War I, because after World War I ended, about a half a year later the Spanish Flu arrived and it killed 100 times what our Covid-19 did.”
How ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘1883,’ and ‘1923’ Exist as Standalones in the Dutton Universe
Taylor Sheridan explained that he kept looking into history for the next season. He didn’t find “1883” season two, but he found so much more. “There was just so many things that were so rich about this world and it took me eight months to even…” he trailed off, then continued, “and they kept going, when are we going to get a script? I said, I don’t know. Everyone is dead. I don’t know how to write the next season of this damn thing [‘1883’] but I kept hunting history, and I kept finding things.”
Interestingly, Sheridan describes all of his Dutton shows as “standalones.” They exist separated from each other, yet are inherently linked through the family. He elaborated, “It’s the one great thing about the Dutton family; you can skip generations and put them in all these unique situations, and it has nothing to do with ‘Yellowstone,’ nothing to do with ‘1883’ and yet it’s tethered completely to them, but they’re all standalones. That’s what I find so intriguing about it.”