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Taylor Sheridan “poured gasoline” on the plans for Bass Reeves

Lawmen: Bass Reeves may not officially be part of the Yellowstone universe, but it still has Taylor Sheridan's fingerprints all over it.

David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves

If making damn good television is a crime, then somebody needs to arrest Taylor Sheridan. Not content with dominating the small screen with Yellowstone, he’s now helped Lawmen: Bass Reeves find an audience, and according to director Damian Marcano, an act of (metaphorical) arson was the key.

To be clear, Lawmen: Bass Reeves is not part of the Yellowstone timeline. The new drama series may have the same writer, be set in a similar time period, and at one stage was even attached to the Yellowstone franchise, but it is very much its own entity. It’s for the best, too, as our cowboy expert Jessica Cullen praises the standalone series in her Lawmen: Bass Reeves review.

But, the ties to Taylor Sheridan are undeniable, and Bass Reeves director Damian Marcano has not exactly played that down in his latest chat with Digital Spy. “I tell people… Taylor Sheridan poured gasoline on my fire. So, yes, I think it’s a part of the Yellowstone world in the fact that Taylor obviously has the largest stage right now, as far as someone who is creating episodic, large things. Right? Big faces, big names that you see on the small screen,” he said.

Marcano goes on to clarify the connection, though, insisting his show is more like a “cousin” to Yellowstone. “[Sheridan] definitely gave us the freedom while making this to essentially pivot and make something that’s one of a kind,” he added.

“Because all of his shows – you know, Lioness, I also love. Everything’s not just Yellowstone. You know, Tulsa King has its own thing. So I believe that Bass Reeves is just another thing to add to the universe of Taylor Sheridan, opposed to just the universe of Yellowstone,” Marcano concluded.

So, there we go, Bass Reeves has been able to thrive on Paramount Plus thanks to the success of shows like Yellowstone and the other Taylor Sheridan TV series we know and love. Clearly, the man simply knows how to get shit done. I mean, he’s making Yellowstone season 5 part 2 happen, and we never thought Kevin Costner would return for that.

Obviously, there’s some major differences between the world of Yellowstone and that of Bass Reeves. For a start, Reeves was a real life law enforcement officer who fought in the American Civil War, before serving as the first Black deputy US marshal West of the Mississippi. No offence to anyone in the Dutton family tree, but Reeves’ fascinating history and cultural significance make him more than deserving of his own show without having to piggyback on the Yellowstone brand.

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For more on the incredible stories Sheridan has lit a fire under, check out our guides to the Yellowstone 1923 season 2 release date and the Yellowstone 6666 release date. You can also learn about the members of the Yellowstone cast and see why they make the main show Sheridan’s biggest and best TV series.