Godfather Meets Cowboys: This 4.3 Rated Series Started as a Movie! Must-Watch!

Before it became a hit series, “Yellowstone” was originally conceived as a feature film by its creator Taylor Sheridan.

What if Yellowstone had never come to be? Or more specifically, what if Yellowstone had never become the highly acclaimed series it is today (rated 4.3 out of 5 stars by AlloCiné users)? Because originally, the show’s creator Taylor Sheridan intended the Dutton family saga for the big screen, not the small one!

The Godfather in Montana

Riding on the success of Sicario and Hell or High Water, which he wrote, and Wind River (written and directed by him), Taylor Sheridan decided to pitch to Hollywood studios the script of a western set in our time titled: Yellowstone. This script already followed the story of a family clan running a ranch, described by the screenwriter as “The Godfather in Montana”.

The script caught the interest of cable network HBO, who proposed to Taylor Sheridan to rewrite the script to make Yellowstone a television series. He complied, although the series ultimately never saw the light of day on HBO. The project was eventually not greenlit, as it deviated too much from the style of the network’s other successful programs.

“We went to lunch at a trendy restaurant in Los Angeles and asked them why they didn’t want to make the series,” Taylor Sheridan explained in a lengthy interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “They told us: “Listen, it’s too rural for us. We’re HBO, we’re cutting-edge, we set trends. This would be like going backwards for us.””

The smallest cable network gets the biggest show of the moment

After this false start, Taylor Sheridan decided to pitch Yellowstone to all American television networks, from the most famous to the most obscure. And it was ultimately Paramount Network, a niche-audience channel then specializing in documentaries and catalog films, that breathed life into the series.

“People didn’t understand how a small cable channel no one stumbles upon got hold of the biggest TV show,” commented Taylor Sheridan. “Because it features cowboys, and western is supposed to be a dead genre, right? Of course, the series isn’t about that, it’s just a front.”

The rest of the story? Instant success with American viewers (and then worldwide), Yellowstone has now become one of the flagship series of the Paramount+ platform. In addition to its five seasons, the show has also spawned two prequels (1883 and 1923) while other spin-offs will soon be launched (1944, 2024 and 6666).

All series from the Yellowstone universe can be found exclusively on Paramount+.

Check out the list of series currently available on the platform!

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