Taylor Sheridan Was Forced to Raise the Dead for Yellowstone: ‘They Don’t Read Scripts’

Taylor Sheridan Was Forced to Raise the Dead for Yellowstone: ‘They Don’t Read Scripts’
Image credit: Paramount+, Legion-Media

For 1883, Taylor Sheridan was forced to make a Season 2 after having already killed off the most essential characters, and he was frustrated beyond measure.


  • Taylor Sheridan planned his Yellowstone prequel 1883 as a one-season mini-series, but the studio didn’t understand his design.
  • Having killed off most characters, Sheridan was told to make a Season 2 because the show had already been greenlit for it.
  • Sheridan didn’t know how to proceed but thanks to studying American history, he found a way to come up with a new story.

Even prolific creators like Taylor Sheridan have to answer to their studios, and sometimes, a small miscommunication can lead to massive problems. Once upon a time, this happened with 1883, the famous Yellowstone prequel: Sheridan intended it to be a one-season gig but the studio didn’t, so the creator was forced to “somehow find a way” to make Season 2 possible.

Sheridan Was Forced to Make 1883 Season 2

The thing about communication is that both sides need to clearly signal their intentions. This clearly didn’t happen when Sheridan was working on 1883: he intended it to be a one-off mini-series, and the studio wanted several seasons. Imagine their surprise when nearly everyone died in the Season 1 finale!

“I know they read the scripts, but they don’t read [into] scripts… [Paramount CEO] Bob Bakish watched [1883 S1 finale] and said, ‘Wait a minute, she dies! They all die? What do we do in Season 2?’ I said, ‘There is no Season 2.’ They’re like, ‘There better be a f*cking Season 2 because we already picked it up.’ I’m sitting here going, ‘Guys, everyone is dead!’” Sheridan shared with Deadline.

1883 S2 Was a Real Challenge for Sheridan

Taylor Sheridan Was Forced to Raise the Dead for Yellowstone: ‘They Don’t Read Scripts’ - image 1

Obviously, having just killed off most of his most essential characters, Taylor Sheridan was frustrated by the order to make a Season 2. He was told to “revert” some of the deaths but replied that “the very nature of the term it’s not something survivable.” Feeling lost, Sheridan decided to seek inspiration in American history.

“I said I’ll come up with another peek into the window and I sat there and tried to look at it. <...> They kept going, ‘When are we going to get a script?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. Everyone is dead. I don’t know how to write the next season of this damn thing.’ But I kept hunting history, and I kept finding things,” the Yellowstone creator explained.

Despite having referred to 1883 as a “10-hour movie,” Sheridan had to find a way to make a sequel to that movie… And he’s famous for always finding a way. Thanks to his dedication and persistence in searching American history, the Yellowstone creator made a stunning Season 2 — but we bet that since then, he’s been talking to Paramount executives slowly and patiently to make sure they understand his design.

Source: Deadline