Yellowstone‘s current inability to air on its parent network’s streaming service has been reportedly explained. The hit series, which stars Kevin Costner as ranch patriarch John Dutton, airs on The Paramount Network and has become a huge cable hit to rival AMC’s The Walking Dead. However, the show confusingly streams on Peacock, the streaming service owned and operated by NBCUniversal. This is in spite of the fact that all of the show’s spinoffs currently air or will air on Paramount+.
Recently, Puck ran a detailed report on the behind-the-scenes drama affecting the future of Yellowstone. This includes the reasons behind the rumors that Costner will be exiting after Yellowstone season 5, but also dives into the streaming contract that has locked the series into the Peacock catalog. Reportedly, Peacock will retain the rights to the series until four years after the final episode airs, which is a monumentally lucrative window.
Yellowstone’s Current and Upcoming Spinoffs Explained
Given this strict deal, it makes sense why Paramount may desire to move away from focusing on the central series as the main draw for fans of the franchise. It is currently unknown when Yellowstone will end if Costner truly ends up leaving. However, there are a heaping helping of spinoffs ready to keep the flame burning should that happen sooner than later.
The first two Yellowstone spinoffs have already aired or are in the process of airing on Paramount+. 1883, which ran from December 2021 through February 2022, focuses on the first generation of Duttons to settle on the land that will become the Yellowstone ranch, led through treacherous territory by Sam Elliott’s tough-as-nails Shea Brennan. 1923, which premiered season 1 in December 2022 and is still running with a season 2 on the way, stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren and picks up on that story 40 years later as the family faces famine, disease, and more.
The Yellowstone universe will only continue to expand from there. Other planned spinoffs include Bass Reeves, following the first Black U.S. Marshal, 1944, following another generation of Duttons, and 6666, following the goings on at the rival Four Sixes ranch. With that much material in the coffer – and available immediately on Paramount+ – the franchise seems perfectly able to survive the end of the main branch of the series, should the producers wish to get moving on that four year window as soon as possible.
More: Yellowstone’s Future Is In Spinoffs (Not John Dutton)