How to Watch Every Yellowstone Series in Chronological Order and By Release Date

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Summary

  • In chronological order, the Yellowstone series goes: 1883, 1923, 1944, Yellowstone, 2024, and 6666.
  • In order of release date, the series begins with Yellowstone, followed by 1883 and 1923, with 1944, 2024, and 6666 yet to be released.


Created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson for the Paramount Network, Yellowstone is an old-fashioned western TV series that has spawned two released spinoffs and two more upcoming sequels. While star Kevin Costner recently made headlines for agreeing to depart from the main series after Season 5 concludes, Yellowstone focuses on the Dutton family and the conflicts they experience while living and working at Broken Rock Indian Reservation in Yellowstone National Park.

In addition to the main Yellowstone series launching in 2018, there’s been some confusion about the timeline of events depicted on the show relative to the release dates of the respective prequels, sequels, and spin-offs. To clarify things, a guide on how to watch the entire franchise in the chronological order of story events will help casual and avid fans understand how the various Yellowstone series fit together.


1883 (2021-2022)

Although Yellowstone officially kicked off in 2018, those looking to watch the entire series in the proper narrative chronology should start with 1883. Also created and written by Taylor Sheridan, 1883 is a prequel to Yellowstone that traces the Dutton family’s travels from Tennessee to Texas to Oregon to Montana following the American Civil War, where the Dutton family patriarch, James Dutton (Tim McGraw), establishes the family’s ranch and homestead in Montana.

Beyond the Duttons’s arduous quest across the land, the series depicts how James established Yellowstone Ranch along with his wife Margaret (Faith Hill). Sam Elliot also stars as Shea Brennan in 1883, a grief-stricken Civil War vet who leads the westward expansion. Elliot won a SAG award for Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries. 1883: A Yellowstone Origin Story lasted one season and 10 episodes from 2021 to 2022, painting a vivid picture of the Dutton family’s proud lineage as they flee the South and attempt to forge a better life in the West. To fully grasp the order of events in the overarching Yellowstone series, it’s best to begin with 1883. Stream on Paramount+.

1923 (2022-2023)

Functioning as a sequel to 1883 and a prequel to the main Yellowstone series, 1923 is the next destination. The series introduces a whole new generation of Dutton family members as they deal with the turn of the century, industrialization, prohibition, the stock market crash, the early stages of the great depression, and other massive national changes. Harrison Ford stars as Jacob Dutton, the brother of James Dutton (McGraw) and great-great uncle of John Dutton (Costner). Helen Mirren also stars as Jacob’s wife, Cara Dutton.

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Unlike 1883, 1923 is a multi-season prequel to Yellowstone that is meant to show how far the extended Dutton family has come since fleeing Tennessee in the 19th century. Part of the series expansion includes Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar) venturing to Kenya following his time in World War I, which serves as a refreshing break from the dusty Montana mountains. Although drastic changes have been made to the Duttons’s way of life on the frontier since the days of 1883, 1923 is meant to be viewed after 1883 and before the five seasons of Yellowstone. Season 2 of 1923 has yet to be given a release date. Stream on Paramount+.

1944 (TBD)

Travis stands by a fence in Yellowstone
Paramount TV

In November 2023, yet another Yellowstone spin-off entitled 1944 was announced by Paramount (via Variety). While no release has yet been given, the upcoming series written and created by Taylor Sheridan will function as a direct sequel to 1923 and take place in the titular time frame of 1944. As such, the drama will involve the Dutton family dealing with the consequential horrors of WWII as they continue to expand their ranch in Yellowstone Park. According to The Ravelli Republic, 1944 will be filmed in Bitterroot Valley, Montana.

Although there has yet to be a confirmed cast or release date for 1944, TV Guide predicts the show to air toward the end of 2024 at the earliest. The events depicted in the series will take place after those seen in 1923. Without knowing exactly when Season 2 of 1923 will premiere, there’s no telling when 1944 will be released by Paramount at this time. Regardless, 1944 is currently in the early stages of development and no cast members have yet to be announced. When the series is eventually released, it should be watched after 1923 and before the main Yellowstone series.

Yellowstone (2018-2024)

yellowstone
Yellowstone

Release Date
June 20, 2018

Creator
John Linson, Taylor Sheridan

Seasons
5

Chronologically, Yellowstone is the first series created by Taylor Sheridan and released by Paramount TV. Narratively, Yellowstone is meant to be viewed after 1883, 1923, and 1944. Set in the present day, Yellowstone revolves around the sociopolitical exploits of the Duttons, a powerful family of cattle ranchers living on an Indian reservation in Montana. John Dutton (Costner) does his best to continue the legacy left behind by his father James and great-great uncle Jacob. Beyond his professional responsibilities, John tries to keep his family together following the death of his wife Evelyn in 1997.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why Matthew McConaughey is Perfect to Lead the New Yellowstone Spin-Off

Currently rated #162 on IMDb’s Top 250 TV Shows, Yellowstone has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy and Costner won a 2023 Golden Globe. The best way to watch Yellowstone would be from the beginning, since each season progresses in chronological order, beginning in 2018 and eventually concluding in 2024. It’s also worth noting that Costner has agreed to exit the series when Season 5 returns, with Matthew McConaughey in line to star in the spin-off, 2024. Stream on Peacock Premium.

2024 & 6666 (2024)

Newton holds a rifle in Free State of Jones
STX Entertainment

Two more Yellowstone spin-offs have been announced, including 2024 and 6666. According to Variety, 2024 will be set in modern times and track the contemporary lives of the Dutton family in the year 2024. Matthew McConaughey has been in discussion to star in 2024, replacing Kevin Costner’s outstanding performance as the star-studded series lead. No plot details or characters have been divulged at this time beyond the story being set in the modern era and featuring a new cast of actors. When 2024 does eventually premiere, viewers need to watch it immediately after the events portrayed at the end of Yellowstone Season 5.

Last but not least, another Yellowstone spin-off entitled 6666 has long been in the works by Taylor Sheridan. Unlike the yearly titles featured in the Yellowstone franchise, 6666 refers to the Four Sixes Ranch in West Texas where the story will take place. According to Entertainment Weekly, 6666 will be set in present-day Texas, “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.” After its initial 2023 release was delayed by the SAG-AFTRA strike, 6666 is expected to debut sometime in 2024. When it finally airs on Paramount TV, 6666 should be watched after Yellowstone Season 5 and right along with 2024.

Yellowstone and Its Spin-Offs In Order of Release Date

Series Title

Initial Release Year

Yellowstone

2018

1883

2021

1923

2022

6666

Expected 2024

1944

Expected late 2024

2024

TBD

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