Yellowstone Creator Hates That It’s Labeled As A Conservative Series

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan is dismissing critics who call it a "red state" show.

By Douglas Helm | Published

It’s not uncommon for audiences to misinterpret the messages that TV and film creators are trying to convey. It’s happened with movies like Fight Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, and now Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone series. Responding to the statement that his show is a conservative series or a “Republican show,” Sheridan told The Atlantic “The show’s talking about the displacement of Native Americans and the way Native American women were treated and about corporate greed and the gentrification of the West, and land-grabbing,” adding “That’s a red-state show?”

Perhaps this assumption about Yellowstone is coming from people who haven’t seen the show. If you just watch trailers and see what is traditionally red-state iconography — i.e. masculine cowboys, Kevin Costner’s change-averse character, etc — you would maybe consider the show one that embodies conservative values. However, as Sheridan points out, this isn’t really the case and the overall politics of the show are a more ambiguous than that.

Still, while Yellowstone may not have everyone on the same page as to what the show is trying to say, there’s no doubt the show is immensely popular amongst all viewers. As the Atlantic article points out, the show was the most-watched on television last year if you’re not counting the NFL. These huge viewer numbers have led to Sheridan being given the reins to a TV empire, with multiple spin-off shows already aired and more in the works.

Taylor Sheridan
Taylor Sheridan

The flagship series Yellowstone and its spin-offs are one of Paramount’s biggest successes, helping to drive subscribers to their Paramount+ streaming platform. The series stars Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, and Gil Birmingham and follows the Dutton family as they deal with the border conflicts of their ranch. The series is now in its fifth season, which just premiered on November 13.

The fifth season of Yellowstone will be its biggest yet, as the mega-season will be split into two parts of seven episodes each. The two-episode premiere smashed ratings records for the series, drawing in a total of 12.1 million live-plus-same-day viewers. Although it’s late to the party, this made it the top-scripted series premiere of 2022.

The numbers don’t lie, and Yellowstone is bigger than ever. While it may not be getting the Emmy nominations that you would expect for a series of this size and caliber, it’s definitely getting plenty of respect from audiences. While reviews of the first season were mixed, the show has only received progressively better reviews with every subsequent season.

Fans of Yellowstone definitely won’t have to worry about their favorite show going anywhere with ratings like these. As long as Sheridan and the cast are willing, Paramount is sure to keep the series going as long as the fans are tuning in with such impressive numbers. Of course, even if the flagship series comes to an end, there will be the aforementioned spin-offs to enjoy as well.

The already-aired spin-off 1883 will be getting a sequel series called 1888: The Bass Reeves Story. Two more spin-offs are also around the corner, with 1923 and 6666 both scheduled to premiere in 2022 and 2023, respectively. As for Yellowstone, you can catch the next episode of Season 5 when it premieres on November 20.