Taylor Sheridan Says Paramount Didn’t Realize ‘1883’ Wouldn’t Have A Season 2 Until They Saw The Finale

Dec 21, 2022

Taylor Sheridan is basically keeping Paramount+ afloat right now. Okay, yes, that’s hyperbolic, but the writer-director-producer-creator of all things “Yellowstone” has been printing money for the studio and streaming service thanks to his mega TV franchise. And he is enjoying creative freedom that is unparalleled in the modern studio system. But that freedom does come with some complications, as we recently learned when Taylor Sheridan shared the genesis of his latest “Yellowstone” spinoff, “1923,” and how the show was conceived after Paramount was shocked to learn “1883” was ending.
In a new interview with Deadline, which is really great and shows just how confident and smart Taylor Sheridan is as an artist, the creator of “Yellowstone” and its various spinoffs talks about Paramount’s complete and utter shock when the studio realized “1883” wouldn’t be returning for Season 2. And the discussions the studio had with Sheridan, where executives, in essence, begged him to retcon the ending of “1883,” led to the creation of “1923.”
READ MORE: ‘1923’ Review: Harrison Ford & Helen Mirren Light Up Taylor Sheridan’s Otherwise Familiar ‘Yellowstone’ Spin-Off
For those unaware, “1883” is the first spinoff from “Yellowstone” and takes place more than 100 years ago, showing the origins of the Dutton family in Montana after the end of the Civil War. And *spoiler alert*, many of the characters die at the end of the series, including lead actor Sam Elliott, whose character dies by suicide. Apparently, it wasn’t just a shock for fans, when the finale aired, but it was a bigger shock for Paramount, as the studio fully expected Season 2 of “1883,” especially after the studio spent an insane amount of money on the first season. (Sheridan says “1883” is the “most expensive first season of a TV show ever made.”) 
“I know they read the scripts, but they don’t read scripts, so when they read the last episode of ‘1883,’ I don’t think they digested what had just happened, even though I made it quite clear from the very beginning,” explained Sheridan. “The story I heard is Bob Bakish [Paramount executive] watched it and said, ‘wait a minute, she dies! They all die? What do we do in season two?’ I said, there is no season two. They’re like, there better be a fucking season two because we already picked it up. I’m sitting here going, guys everyone is dead.”
LISTEN: ‘1923’: Harrison Ford & The Cast Talk About The Latest ’Yellowstone’ Spinoff, Marvel Movies & More [Yellowstoners Podcast]
He continued, “They wanted to have a meeting about how Sam Elliott survived his suicide. By the very nature of the term it’s not something survivable, and who would want to see that? So, I said I’ll come up with another peek into the window and I sat there and tried to look at it. I studied Montana’s history and the history of the world.”
This studying led Sheridan to realize there were parallels between COVID ending and the early 20s in Montana with the Spanish Flu, which was much deadlier. This led to changes in the local Montana economy and its reliance on cattle farming. Then there were links to African countries. Basically, this whole new world of storytelling opened up for Sheridan.
“So, there was just so many things that were so rich about this world and it took me eight months to even…and they kept going, when are we going to get a script? I said, I don’t know. Everyone is dead,” he added. “I don’t know how to write the next season of this damn thing [‘1883’] but I kept hunting history, and I kept finding things. It’s the one great thing about the Dutton family; you can skip generations and put them in all these unique situations, and it has nothing to do with ‘Yellowstone,’ nothing to do with ‘1883’ and yet it’s tethered completely to them, but they’re all standalones. That’s what I find so intriguing about it.”
As you might expect, Paramount was quick to give the greenlight to Sheridan for Season 1 of “1923.” And just like “1883,” the cost for “1923” is incredibly expensive. Sheridan says each episode is between $30 million and $35 million. So, when he was asking for eight more episodes of “1923” for the upcoming Season 2, he said, “I didn’t do very good in math in school, but I can multiply eight and three and add a bunch of zeroes and realize I just asked for 240 million dollars.”
Even with that big ask, Paramount is fully invested in more “1923” and whatever else Sheridan wants to do. I’m not going to list the number of spinoffs and ancillary series the creator is working on, but he has about a half-dozen or more in various stages of production and development. So, Paramount+ is going to be littered with more Sheridan creations over the next couple of years. 

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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