‘Yellowstone’ Prequel ‘1883’ Reported To Cost Over $10 Million Per Episode

by Jennifer Shea

Looks like “1883” is going to be even more expensive than the original.

While it is a spinoff of “Yellowstone,” Taylor Sheridan’s new prequel, “1883,” has a budget of an eye-popping $10 million per episode, Deadline reports. That’s pricier than “Yellowstone,” for which Paramount Network was already shelling out some serious dough.

Moreover, when ViacomCBS gave Sheridan what amounted to its biggest overall deal, it agreed to spend nine figures on “1883.”

That’s not to say their trust in Sheridan is misplaced. “Yellowstone” has consistently shattered ratings records, becoming the highest-rated show on cable TV by the end of its third season.

‘Yellowstone’ Prequel One of Five Projects Sheridan Is Juggling

The “Yellowstone” writer and co-creator has a lot on his plate these days. Sheridan has as many as five shows slated to launch on Paramount+ over the next year and a half. “1883” is reportedly due out Dec. 19. Meanwhile, “Mayor of Kingstown,” starring Jeremy Renner and Dianne Wiest, bows Nov. 14.

“Yellowstone” spinoff “6666” is another Sheridan-led project in the works. And there are at least two more dramas in the writing or casting stage of production, according to Deadline.

“6666” takes place on the famous Four Sixes Ranch in Texas, which Sheridan has reportedly led a team of buyers in purchasing. Familiar faces from “Yellowstone” – most notably Jimmy (Jefferson White) and Walker (Ryan Bingham) – are said to be joining that show.

As for “1883,” executive producer and 101 Studios CEO David Glasser likened its ambitions to “Lonesome Dove,” “Last of the Mohicans” and “Dances With Wolves” (which won “Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner an Oscar).

“When Taylor creates, in his mind he can take you down a rabbit hole with 15 layers deep on the lineage of a story, something I’ve never seen another creator do,” Glasser told Deadline. “Ask him a question about a character, he’ll take you back 10 or 30 years. That’s what happened here with 1883. Taylor was thinking about the story of the Duttons and their journey.”

“It seemed organic for him to sit down and start at the beginning,” Glasser added.

‘1883’ Is the Duttons’ Origin Story

“1883” Follows John Dutton’s ancestors, James and Margaret Dutton (Tim McGraw and Faith Hill), who join a group of settlers heading northwest across the Great Plains toward Montana. Their journey is from civilization into wilderness, and from poverty towards opportunity.

The prequel is part of an attempt to build an immersive Taylor Sheridan-constructed content universe. Not all of his shows in development have direct ties to “Yellowstone.” But the success of the latter seems to have demonstrated to network execs that Sheridan can write characters that resonate.

Paramount+ and MTV Entertainment Studios are developing “1883” together. 101 Studios and Bosque Ranch Productions will be production partners on the prequel.