Taylor Sheridan is one of the most dynamic creators in Hollywood, with a firm grasp of the Western genre. Sheridan’s “Yellowstone” on Paramount Network is one of the most-watched television shows currently on air.
Taylor Sheridan’s western drama has taken television by storm over the last several years. It is already branching into a multi-series universe that follows The Dutton family tree in 1883 and 1923.
Even the original series “Mayor of Kingstown” is set in the same universe.
With so many spinoffs joining the Yellowstone universe, it can be confusing to figure out where to start. Here’s a look at the watch order for the “Yellowstone” franchise to assist the fans in deciding the correct order to watch the series.
1. How Many Yellowstone Series are there?
The massive popularity of “Yellowstone” has led showrunner Taylor Sheridan to come up with several other series that are based on or connected to the main Yellowstone timeline.
Currently, there are four Yellowstone series and one series that happens to be in the same universe making it a total of five.
o Yellowstone (5 Seasons)
o Mayor of Kingstown
Do you need to Watch All of The Yellowstone Series?
Despite the loose connection among all the series in Yellowstone, none of them requires viewing to watch another. 1883, 1923, and Yellowstone can all be enjoyed independently.
Each series does contribute to the viewing experience of the others, providing nuance and background information that can increase the viewing experience.
But since each series focuses on a different segment of the Dutton family tree, each one of them can be enjoyed separately.
2. What order to watch the “Yellowstone” Shows In?
There are two major paths audiences can take in tackling the “Yellowstone” franchise, depending on their preferences. Some people might choose to watch the shows in the release order.
While those who genuinely wish to experience the Yellowstone timeline, chronological order is the way to go for.
The Yellowstone Franchise in Chronological order
The best way to binge the entire Yellowstone franchise is the chronological way starting with 1883 and 1923 followed by Yellowstone, 6666, and the Mayor of Kingstown.
1883 follows the first-generation Duttons who founded the ranch. 1923 revolves around second-generation Duttons and the rise of the ranch. Yellowstone follows the ranch in the present day with certain flashbacks related to the past.
“1883” is the mother of all prequels in the entire Yellowstone series. It happens in the year 1883, as the name of the series already suggests. Thus, “1883”is set more than a hundred years before the main events of “Yellowstone”.
“1883” focuses on a family that was still finding a way to escape poverty by trying to explore Montana and expand America’s reach in the place widely regarded as the last bastion of untamed America.
It is therefore evident that the Dutton family of 1883 is not the same affluent and established household name that it is in Yellowstone. The family was still trying to find settle down and make ends meet back in 1883.
Another Yellowstone connection was established when 1883 revealed that the “Yellowstone” ranch was established around Elsa Dutton’s Grave.
“1923” is indeed the unofficial sequel series to “1883”.
The events of “1923” are directly related to “1883”, albeit the fact that at least four decades separate them. In that regard, this series follows an entirely new generation of Dutton family members that are going to continue the things that were already started back in “1883”.
Of course, some of the challenges that he and his family members had to face during this period include Prohibition, the Great Depression, and Western Expansion.
One of the two ‘1883’ characters present in ‘1923’ is the narrator of the show herself, Isabel May, reprising her character of Elsa Dutton. The second recurring character includes her brother John Dutton Sr. who was only 5 years old at the start of 1883.
As we all know “Yellowstone” is the main series of the entire Yellowstone universe created by Taylor Sheridan. It is set in the present time, and that means that it happens more than a hundred years following 1883.
“Yellowstone” continues to follow the same Dutton family except for the fact that the family is no longer trying to escape poverty but is now running the biggest ranch in the entire United States. And that ranch is the center of all the trials and problems of the Dutton family.
The series explores the different personalities, lifestyles, and beliefs of the Dutton children, who all have their own opinions about how the ranch should be run.
We see The Dutton family run into some troubles too, concerning the different issues that focus on the ranch. This includes the Native American reserve and the large development firm that is looking to take over the ranch.
3. What is the “6666” connection?
“6666” is the second spin-off series based on the entire Yellowstone universe. It is speculated that “6666” will be exploring the story of the popular Four Sixes ranch that the showrunner Sheridan bought in real life.
Similar to the entire “Yellowstone” series, “6666”happens in the present time and is probably happening at the same time as the main “Yellowstone” events.
We don’t have an official release date yet (Expected 2023). The only thing we have is the show’s description from Paramount+. Similar to Yellowstone, the new series will focus on the happenings of the ranch.
The show’s description reads, per a Paramount+ press release:
“Founded when Comanches still ruled West Texas, no ranch in America is more steeped in the history of the West than the 6666. Still operating as it did two centuries before, and encompassing an entire county, the 6666 is where the rule of law and the laws of nature merge in a place where the most dangerous thing one does is the next thing.”
The events of Season 4 of “Yellowstone” further established a connection when in one of the episodes of Season 4, John Dutton sends ranch hand Jimmy White to 6666.
So, while we are yet to know any more details about the plot or setting of “6666”, it is safe to say that it has a loose connection with Yellowstone.
4. How is the “Mayor of Kingstown” connected to “Yellowstone”?
Even though the “Mayor of Kingstown” also comes from the mind of Taylor Sheridan and is set in the same universe as Yellowstone, the show follows a story that is completely original and separate from the events of “Yellowstone”.
The main premise of “Mayor of Kingstown” focuses on the town of Kingstown, Michigan, which makes its money out of the business of incarceration.Similar to “Yellowstone”, the “Mayor of Kingstown” focuses on the story of the McClusky family, who have a significant stake in the town of Kingstown.
The “Mayor of Kingstown” and “Yellowstone” is a part of a growing effort on behalf of Paramount. Chris McCarthy, President, and CEO of MTV Entertainment talked about the strategy to expand the Yellowstone world with Deadline.
“Our strategy is to make Yellowstone, the massive No. 1 hit with more than 10 million fans, into a global hit franchise under the incredible creative vision of Taylor Sheridan’s world-building storytelling,” he told the publication.
“Mayor of Kingstown” stars Marvel superstar Jeremy Renner as Mike McClusky and started airing on November 14, 2021, on the Paramount Network and Paramount Plus.
5. The Yellowstone Franchise in Release Order
Since there is no necessity to follow a certain pattern for the franchise, viewers may opt to view the shows based on release dates too:
1. Yellowstone (5 Seasons) (June 20, 2018 -)
2. Mayor of Kingstown (November 14, 2021)
3. 1883 (December 19, 2021)
4. 1923 (December 18, 2022)
5. 6666 (Expected Release Date: 2023)
How many hours do you need for the entire “Yellowstone” franchise?
Yellowstone began airing on the Paramount Network in 2018 and is still in production. It has completed four seasons on Paramount Network. The fifth season began airing new episodes in November 2022.
Except for the premiere episode, which was a two-hour TV event, episodes of Yellowstone are made to fit the hour-long TV format. That means the run time is usually around 45 minutes without commercials. The runtime is the same for the spinoffs.
So, it would take at least 54 hours to binge-watch the entire “Yellowstone” franchise including the 8 episodes of 1923 and the first season of “Mayor of Kingstown.”
What is the best way to binge the entire Yellowstone Franchise?
Since there is no compulsion to follow a particular pattern, choosing the best watch order is a matter of preference that may vary from person to person.
I would both prefer and suggest the chronological way since it helps the viewers understand the timeline better and get all the references made in respect of the other show.
The chronological set of events also gives a much clearer understanding of the rags-to-riches story of the Dutton Family.
6. About Yellowstone
Yellowstone is an American neo-western drama created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson that premiered on Paramount Network.
The series follows the Dutton family, owners of the largest ranch in the United States. The plot revolves around family drama and the bordering Native reservations and national parks.
The series stars Kevin Costner, Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, and Gil Birmingham.