You Won’t Believe the Staggering Salaries of the Cast of ‘Yellowstone’
Yellowstone has become a runaway hit show since it debuted on the Paramount Network in 2018, and that kind of success means the stars of the show command some pretty hefty salaries.
The Kevin Costner-led modern-day Western centers around the Dutton family, who own the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the U.S. Costner portrays patriarch John Dutton, who runs both the ranch and his family with an iron fist, and most of the show's drama derives from conflict the Duttons face with all of the entities who border their property, as well as their own interpersonal conflict.
Costner had a long string of hit films to his credit when he signed on to portray Dutton for the Paramount Network, which at the time was re-branding from the former Spike TV. He'd won an armload of awards, including both Best Picture and Best Director for 1991's Dances With Wolves, and had done very little television with the exception of his well-received Hatfields & McCoys miniseries in 2012. Paramount Network offered him a whopping $500,000 per episode to star in Yellowstone.
The massive offer to Costner was a strategic move on Paramount's part, network head Kevin Kay told the Hollywood Reporter.
"The statement we wanted to make was that we’re open for business and we’re willing to pay top-tier actors whatever their quotes are," he said in 2017. "It sends a message and that’s what we want to do."
Costner's co-stars also do well, though they reportedly each earn less than half of Costner's per-episode haul. Cinema Blend estimates that Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler), Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton), Wes Bentley (Jamie Dutton) and Kelsey Asbille (Monica Dutton) all make around $200,000 an episode or less, which is in line with various other reports.
Yellowstone's success has mushroomed so much that Paramount is developing two different spinoff series. Yellowstone: 666 has been announced, though very few details are available. Country music fans will be particularly interested in a Yellowstone prequel titled 1883, which stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as James and Margaret Dutton, John Dutton's great-parents. The show follows their family as they head West on an arduous trek from Texas to Montana, where they will end up establishing the Yellowstone ranch that serves as the setting for the runaway hit show.
No air dates have been announced for the new shows, but Yellowstone is set to return for its much-anticipated Season 4 in November on the Paramount Network and Paramount+. Subscribe to the streaming service to make sure you don't miss out.