Taylor Sheridan's new Western series Lawmen: Bass Reeves has already surpassed Yellowstone and its spinoffs in one key category. The Paramount+ series, starring David Oyelowo as Old West lawman Bass Reeves, has received critical acclaim since its premiere on November 5, 2023. With the dramatic shifts in Yellowstone throughout 2023, Lawmen: Bass Reeves has provided relief to fans who are eager to see how the Yellowstone series will end.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves has currently aired six of its eight episodes and is not expected to continue into a second season with Reeves as the main character. Instead, the series will become an anthology, featuring new characters, cast members, and narratives similar to HBO's True Detective. This means that future installments of the Lawmen series could take place in more recent eras of American history.
Despite being a phenomenal success, Lawmen: Bass Reeves has surpassed Yellowstone and its spinoffs in one key metric. The series has an impressive 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, while Yellowstone only has a 76% audience score. This high score indicates that Lawmen has the potential for massive success similar to Yellowstone.
While the plans for Lawmen to become an anthology series are promising, executive producers Sheridan and Oyelowo may want to reconsider extending Bass Reeves' story into a second season due to its popularity. The series has only explored a fraction of Reeves' 35+ year career in law enforcement, ending in the year 1877.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves has already become the most streamed series on Paramount+ in 2023, benefiting from the absence of the planned second part of Yellowstone season 5. The anthology concept of Lawmen seems limitless and could potentially run for many seasons by transitioning the role of the protagonist. However, fans have expressed their love for the characters and storylines of Lawmen: Bass Reeves as it currently stands.
With a high Rotten Tomatoes audience score and record-breaking viewership, Lawmen: Bass Reeves has the potential to surpass Yellowstone's legacy. The decision to expand the series into an anthology or keep it focused on Bass Reeves' story is crucial and will determine the overall success of the series. The high audience score after just one season may prompt a reevaluation of the decision to end Bass Reeves' story and explore new eras of American lawmen.