‘Yellowstone’: How Will Awards Recognition Change Future of Show?

by Jennifer Shea
Paramount Network

Will critical acclaim change Yellowstone? That’s one question that may be worrying Yellowstone fans right now. And there are several reasons why it might.

Yellowstone has sky-high ratings and plenty of media buzz to boot. So the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), which just honored Yellowstone with a nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, is not the only group taking notice of the hit Paramount Network series. And being the center of attention in the industry has a way of changing artists. Now that Yellowstone is within reach of a major award, it could shake things up for the show.

Will co-creator Taylor Sheridan feel pressure to up the ante and go bigger with his storytelling than ever before?

Don’t Count on Yellowstone Losing Its Bearings

But the cast of Yellowstone are not a bunch of neophytes fresh off the bus to Hollywood. The vast majority of them have years of experience to ground them. And Sheridan in particular has been to Hollywood and back. He’s been fired off a TV show for asking for better pay, and he labored in obscurity for years before his breakout moment. So it’s unlikely he’d let this major recognition go to his head.

Indeed, Sheridan’s statement upon learning of the major award nomination was sober and selfless.

“There’s no bigger compliment to an actor than being recognized by their peers,” Sheridan said. “Congratulations to our incredibly talented cast on this wonderful and well-deserved nomination.”

What Can Fans Expect in Season 5?

In Season 4 of Yellowstone, events unfolded at the Dutton Ranch in tandem with flashbacks that previewed Sheridan’s new prequel show 1883 and glimpses of Jimmy’s (Jefferson White) new life at the Four Sixes, which will also be the subject of a spinoff, 6666. Season 4 started off at breakneck speed, resolving the Season 3 cliffhanger without killing off any major characters, before slowing down a bit by Yellowstone standards.

Fans have debated the merits of that format. But it seems possible that with 1883 now launched and work on 6666 well underway, Season 5 of Yellowstone could bring the focus back to the Dutton Ranch sans distractions. Of course, there’s plenty going on at the ranch, and there’s likely to be even more drama next season.

Whether Beth (Kelly Reilly) successfully drives Jamie (Wes Bentley) nuts, whether Rip (Cole Hauser) becomes a father figure to Carter (Finn Little), whether Kayce (Luke Grimes) stays together with Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and whether John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is able to save Summer (Piper Perabo) are just some of the open questions at the end of Season 4. Yellowstone’s massive audience will just have to come back for Season 5 to find out where Sheridan takes his talented cast next.