Yellowstone timeline explained

The Yellowstone timeline is growing all the time, with multiple TV series now taking place in the Western universe, so how does it all work?

Yellowstone timeline explained: Kevin Costner as John Dutton

How does the Yellowstone timeline work? Who would have thought that cowboys would be cool again? Trick question, cowboys have always, and will always, be very cool, and that’s something the creators of Yellowstone clearly understand.

The hit drama series only started in 2018, but it’s gone from strength to strength since and there’s now multiple spin-off shows to supplement the central story of the Dutton family.

So, how do you actually watch the various Yellowstone TV series in the right order so you can understand the story? Well, we’ve put together this handy guide explaining the Yellowstone timeline so you no longer have to worry. Yee haw!

How to watch the Yellowstone timeline in chronological order:

  • 1883 season 1
  • 1883 season 2: The Bass Reeves Story
  • 1923
  • Yellowstone season 1-5
  • Yellowstone 6666

Yellowstone timeline: Tim McGraw in 1883 season 1

1883 season 1

While John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner, was the first Dutton we meet in the Yellowstone timeline in terms of release dates, it’s 1883 season 1 that reveals to us the origins of the Dutton family and their ownership of the Yellowstone ranch as we are transported back to, you guessed it, the year 1883.

Starring Tim McGraw, Sam Elliott, and Faith Hill, among others, 1883 season 1 premiered on the streaming service Paramount Plus back in 2021, and shows us how James Dutton (McGraw) came to be in possession of the land that would shape the legacy of the family.

Yellowstone timeline: David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves in 1883

1883 season 2: The Bass Reeves Story

The 1883 season 2 release date isn’t here yet, but when it comes it will mark a slight diversion from the Dutton family story. Instead, we will follow the real-life figure Bass Reeves, who will be played by David Oyelowo.

While this story will run in tangent to the Dutton timeline, and is set very much within the Yellowstone universe, we’re unsure just how much it will actually impact the trajectory of the Dutton family by and large.

Yellowstone timeline: Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford in 1923


Landing Hollywood A-listers Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren is an incredible coup for Taylor Sheridan and the Yellowstone team, with the stars fronting another Yellowstone prequel series. The 1923 release date is already here, and we can even tell you where to watch 1923.

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1923 essentially moves on down the Dutton family tree and takes us to the year (you guessed it again) 1923, with Ford and Mirren playing Jacob and Cara Dutton respectively. They are the grandparents of John Dutton, and these guides will help you work out how the 1923 cast are related to the Duttons in more detail and find out about the 1923 season 2 release date.

Yellowstone timeline: Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone

Yellowstone season 1-5

Here we finally have the central storyline and the original show that started it all. There’s now five seasons of this sprawling thriller series, with the Yellowstone season 5 release date has already been and gone, but there is a second part to this instalment on the way.

The core Yellowstone series follows John Dutton (Costner) and his family as they deal with the conflicts that come with owning Yellowstone ranch against tensions from land developers, the national park, and the Broken Rock Indian reservation. By and large, Yellowstone takes place in present day Montana.

Yellowstone timeline: Jimmy Hurdstrom as Jefferson White

Yellowstone 6666

The Yellowstone 6666 release date isn’t here yet, but when it comes it will offer another intriguing off-shoot of the Dutton family legacy. The show will be set in the present day, and will take place at the Four Sixes ranch in Texas.

We don’t know a lot about the upcoming series just yet, but we do know that Jimmy Hurdstrom will play the lead role as Jefferson White, who we have already met in the original Yellowstone show. Jefferson was sent to the Four Sixes ranch back in season 4, and never came back. This show will explain what he’s been up to while the drama has been unfolding back at the Yellowstone ranch.

For more from the Dutton family, check out our guide on where Yellowstone is filmed, or find out more about the Yellowstone cast and the best Westerns of all time – many of which don’t even have a single Dutton in them.