The Yellowstone series, created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson for the Paramount Network, is a classic western TV series that has spawned two released spinoffs and two upcoming sequels. Recently, there has been confusion about the timeline of events depicted in the show relative to the release dates of the prequels, sequels, and spin-offs. To clarify things, a guide on how to watch the entire franchise in the chronological order of story events will help both casual and avid fans understand how the different Yellowstone series fit together.
The first series to watch in chronological order is 1883. Although Yellowstone officially started in 2018, those who want to watch the entire series in the proper narrative chronology should begin with 1883. This prequel, also created and written by Taylor Sheridan, follows the Dutton family's journey from Tennessee to Texas to Oregon to Montana after the American Civil War. Here, the family patriarch, James Dutton (played by Tim McGraw), establishes the Yellowstone Ranch in Montana with his wife Margaret (played by Faith Hill). Sam Elliot also stars as Shea Brennan, a grief-stricken Civil War veteran who leads the westward expansion. 1883: A Yellowstone Origin Story lasted for one season and 10 episodes from 2021 to 2022, providing a vivid picture of the Dutton family's proud lineage as they escape the South and try to create a better life in the West.
The next series to watch is 1923, which serves as a sequel to 1883 and a prequel to the main Yellowstone series. This series introduces a new generation of Dutton family members as they navigate the turn of the century, industrialization, prohibition, the stock market crash, and the early stages of the Great Depression. Harrison Ford stars as Jacob Dutton, the brother of James Dutton and great-great uncle of John Dutton. Helen Mirren also stars as Jacob's wife, Cara Dutton. Unlike 1883, 1923 spans multiple seasons, and it is meant to show the progress of the extended Dutton family since their departure from Tennessee in the 19th century. Season 2 of 1923 has yet to be given a release date.
An upcoming spin-off called 1944 has also been announced. Functioning as a direct sequel to 1923, this series takes place during the titular time frame, focusing on the Dutton family's experiences during World War II. The events of 1944 occur after those seen in 1923, and although no cast or release date has been confirmed, it is expected to air toward the end of 2024 at the earliest. The series will be filmed in Bitterroot Valley, Montana.
The main Yellowstone series, released in 2018 and set in the present day, should be viewed after watching 1883, 1923, and 1944. It revolves around the Dutton family, powerful cattle ranchers living on an Indian reservation in Montana. John Dutton, portrayed by Kevin Costner, tries to continue his family's legacy while also keeping his family together after the death of his wife. Currently rated #162 on IMDb's Top 250 TV Shows and having received nominations and awards, Yellowstone is best watched from the beginning, as each season progresses in chronological order, concluding in 2024. However, it is worth noting that Costner is set to depart from the series after Season 5, with Matthew McConaughey lined up to star in the spin-off 2024.
Lastly, two more spin-offs have been announced: 2024 and 6666. 2024 will be set in modern times, following the contemporary lives of the Dutton family in the year 2024. Matthew McConaughey is in talks to star in the series, replacing Kevin Costner. No specific plot details or characters have been revealed yet. On the other hand, 6666 is set at the Four Sixes Ranch in West Texas and takes place in present-day Texas. The series is expected to debut in 2024, alongside 2024, and should be watched after Yellowstone Season 5.
In conclusion, the Yellowstone series and its spin-offs offer a rich and interconnected narrative that spans various time periods and generations. By following the chronological order of events, viewers can fully appreciate the intricate storytelling and character development throughout the entire franchise. Whether you are a casual fan or a dedicated follower, this guide will help you navigate the Yellowstone universe.