Hit drama series Yellowstone is turning heads these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Apparently, the show had trouble finding a home on television partly due to its extremely high budget. Luckily, the series eventually found its TV partner in Paramount.
According to reports in Puck from Matt Belloni, formerly with The Hollywood Reporter, Yellowstone received many rejections from multiple TV channels in addition to Netflix before finding its current home on the Paramount Network.
Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner as patriarch John Dutton who leads the family ranch amid shifting alliances and a long list of enemies. Dutton is a sixth-generation homesteader and devoted father. As his control on the largest contiguous ranch in the US fades, John must find a way to operate amongst corrupt politicians heavily influenced by oil and lumber corporations. Not to mention the Yellowstone ranch touches borders with an expanding town, a nearby Indian reservation, and of course, America’s first national park.
‘Yellowstone’ Was Rejected at First
Belloni reports Yellowstone was originally brought to Weinstein Co.’s David Glasser and producer John Linson who showed little interest in the series. Costner had already signed on to take part in the project at the time. Most notably, Netflix, FX, and TNT all regrettably rejected picking up the show. According to Belloni, this was mostly due to the series’ whopping $80 million budget. Apparently, this was “too expensive” for broadcast television.
Reasons as to why Yellowstone didn’t receive immediate praise center around the show’s genre, lack of international value, and its target audience. Belloni confirms these are all reasons why so many executives passed on the opportunity in the beginning.
In addition, some were hesitant to take a chance working with Yellowstone‘s co-creator, Taylor Sheridan, who was somewhat new to the television scene at the time.
Network execs who originally doubted the show are likely kicking themselves now after its reached such great success. Yellowstone came out in 2018 via Paramount Network. Since then, the drama series has released four seasons, the latest of which just ended.
Costner’s pay rate is only growing with the series’ success
Additional members of the Yellowstone cast include Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, and Cole Hauser. Having gained so much success, Yellowstone even managed to produce a spinoff series titled 1883. The prequel focuses on the start of the Dutton family starring real-life couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
In tandem with Yellowstone’s rising success, Costner’s paychecks also received a bump up. Belloni confirms Costner received a huge pay raise for his work on the show since its debut in 2018. In the beginning, Costner was earning $500,000 per episode throughout Season 1. Shortly thereafter, he renegotiated his cut and is now earning upwards of $1.2 million per episode as of Season 4. Does that mean he’ll be making even more for the upcoming Season 5?