1883, prequel to Yellowstone, has begun production in Fort Worth, Texas as of August 23.
But how many episodes will fans get in season 1, is the question everyone’s asking. Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone co-creator and writer, will pen the pilot and likely the second episode of 1883, according to Deadline.
Most likely, there will be 9 or 10 episodes in the first season of 1883, similar to Yellowstone. Quite possibly, the season opener could run just as long as the nearly 2 hour-long Yellowstone pilot. “The great thing about the relationship with the network,” 1883 executive producer David Glasser says, “is they always let us go on running time”. He goes on to speak more of Paramount, saying, “Their attitude is, give us the best show and we’ll fit it.”
The show follows the Duttons of the past as they leave Texas and travel to Montana; there, they eventually start their ranch, as seen in Yellowstone. 1883 currently stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as John and Margaret Dutton; Isabel May plays their eldest daughter Elsa; while LaMonica Garrett and Sam Elliot star as Pinkerton agents who join the Duttons on their trip across the country. Currently, 1883 premieres on December 19 on Paramount+.
Production Value is Off the Charts for ‘1883’
As for the origin of the prequel, Glasser says of Sheridan, “When Taylor creates, in his mind he can take you down a rabbit hole with 15 layers deep on the lineage of a story.” He goes on to speak about the show, stating, “Ask him [Sheridan] a question about a character, he’ll take you back 10 or 30 years. That’s what happened here with 1883.”
While Yellowstone is already an expensive show, costing a total of around $80 million, according to The Salt Lake City Tribune, 1883 is already set to surpass that. Glasser commented, “Taylor is shooting this with 30 wagon trains, going across America”. Apparently, Sheridan did not want to use CGI; he decided all 30 wagons would be built, as well as buildings, saddles, and guns. Sheridan is quoted as saying, “this is not going to be an easy or inexpensive show to make. This is going to be epic and huge and I want to tell it in the scope as if I were making a 10-hour movie.”
‘1883’ Goes Back to ‘Yellowstone’s Wild West Roots
If there is any concern over the setting of 1883, being during a time when the fledgling United States’ treatment of Native Americans was considered heinous in the least, it’s important to note that Taylor Sheridan has always been an advocate for Native American people and their stories.
He works to showcase their triumphs and struggles in the best way he can: through writing. He did this in the film Wind River and also in Yellowstone, which features Native characters in prominent roles. As for 1883, Glasser reports that Sheridan “has a team of advisers from those projects [Wind River and Yellowstone] to make sure things are accurate,” according to Deadline.
Here’s hoping the first episode of 1883 lives up to Yellowstone fans’ expectations.