Taylor Sheridan's new Western series Lawmen: Bass Reeves has surprisingly outranked Yellowstone and its spinoffs in one key category. The new Paramount+ series starring David Oyelowo as the real-life Old West lawman Bass Reeves has received critical acclaim after premiering on November 5, 2023. With all of the dramatic shifts that Yellowstone has undergone throughout 2023, Lawmen: Bass Reeves has provided somewhat of a relief to fans who are eager to see how Sheridan's celebrated Yellowstone series will finally come to an end.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves has currently aired six of its eight episodes as of the time of writing and is not expected to continue into a second season with Reeves as the main protagonist. Recent reports have stated thatLawmen will instead become an anthology series with new characters, cast members, and narratives similar to HBO's True Detective if the series is picked up for season 2. It would portray different American lawmen throughout different eras of United States history, meaning that the next installment of the Lawmen series could take place during a more recent era.
Jim Webb was one of the real-life Bass Reeves' most famous rivals in his extraordinary career but was just barely depicted in Lawmen: Bass Reeves.
Despite Yellowstone being a phenomenal success, Lawmen: Bass Reeves has outranked it and its two prequel spinoff series in one key metric.Lawmen: Bass Reeves' audience score on Rotten Tomatoes far surpasses any of the previous Yellowstone installments at an impressive 96%. Yellowstone, which has a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 84%, surprisingly has only a 76% audience score on the platform, while 1883 and 1923 have an audience score of 82% and 54%, respectively.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves' staggering 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes indicates that it may have just as much potential for massive success as the original Yellowstone series down the line. While the current plans for Lawmen to become an anthology series could be promising, executive producers Sheridan and Oyelowo might want to reconsider extending the story of Bass Reeves into a second season due to its popularity. The series has hardly scratched the surface of the real-life lawman's 35+ year career in law enforcement, chronicling his life up to the year 1877.