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Since premiering in 2018, Yellowstone has skyrocketed into success, with the season four finale gaining nearly 10 million viewers. The Western drama has now become the most-watched cable series on television.
Yellowstone follows the Dutton family as they strive to protect their Montana ranch from outside forces vying to snatch up their land. The Duttons have called the property home for over 130 years.
Yellowstone features a stellar cast that includes Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, and Kelsey Asbille. It has grown so widely in popularity that it has gained a spinoff and prequels.
The first of these is 1883, which premiered in December 2021. 1883 tells the story of how the Dutton family got their land which went on to become the mighty Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.
The series stars real-life couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as James and Margaret Dutton.
James and Margaret Dutton leave behind their life of poverty in Tennessee for a new beginning with their children Elsa and John. They travel on a European wagon train from Texas to Montana, where the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch empire begins.
In the Yellowstone season 4 premiere, Tim McGraw appears as James Dutton in a flashback during the year 1893. He encounters a group of Native Americans on his land and while he is ready for trouble, none ensues.
The group is simply looking to bury one of their elders on the land that was once theirs. Both parties are able to put aside their differences for the exchange.
The Duttons even offer their sympathy not only for the loss of a loved one but the mutual struggles faced in the harsh winter.
Here is Tim McGraws season 4 premiere cameo appearance as James Dutton:
McGraw makes an appearance in Yellowstone once again in episode 8 of season 4. In the sequence, James and his crew are chasing a group of horse thieves.
After a shootout ensues, James and his crew hang a dead man in a tree with a note that says “This is what happens to horse thieves here.”
They then proceed to hang a live man next to him and John tells him “I don’t care if you live or die, but should you live, tell them about me.” The man asks, “Tell who?” and in very true Dutton style James replies, “Everybody.”
James returns and collapses from being shot during the ordeal. He doesn’t want to come inside because he doesn’t want to ruin the floor.
Margaret, however, brings him inside regardless, and then the camera cuts to the inside of the house and the sound of her screaming, implying James has died.
James Dutton is said to be the great-great-grandfather of John Dutton. That would make James and Margaret’s son John, also known as John Sr., the great-grandfather of John Dutton III.
Much of John Dutton’s family tree has been revealed with the news of the upcoming 1923 Yellowstone prequel series.
1923 is set to follow Jacob and Cara Dutton as they run the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch during the 1920s. The series will deal with the struggles of the early 20th century such as drought, lawlessness, cattle theft, and prohibition.
All this intertwines with Montana’s great depression, which predated the rest of the nation by nearly a decade.
1923 will premiere on December 18, 2022, on Paramount+. Learn more about the series in our 1923 series guide.
Season two of 1883 will take a slightly different direction than season one. While there is no release date, the second season will be called 1883: The Bass Reeves Story.
Bass Reeves was the first black deputy of the U.S. Marshals to serve West of the Mississippi River. He could speak multiple Native American languages and even arrested over 3,000 outlaws during his career. Reeves is also supposedly the inspiration for the beloved character The Lone Ranger.
There is no indication as to how or if the Duttons will play a role in the second season of 1883. However, we will get to learn more about the family in the series 1923.
Also, read our guide on all the planned Yellowstone spin-off and prequel series which includes two new ones Taylor Sheridan is considering.