Yellowstone Season 5, the hit Paramount Network drama series, returned for its fifth season on November 13, 2022. The new season kicked off with a special two-hour premiere event. However, fans were surprised and disappointed to learn that the season would be split into two parts, with the next batch of episodes not arriving until summer 2023. Here’s a report on why the remaining Yellowstone season 5 episodes are not coming out this summer as originally expected.
Background on Yellowstone Season 5
Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, owners of the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. The show stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the patriarch of the family, alongside Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser and more.
Season 5 began production in May 2022 and it was announced it would have 14 episodes, making it the longest season yet. The season premiere in November drew over 12 million viewers, proving the series continues to grow its audience each year.
Fans were thrilled for the new season but surprised when Paramount announced it would be split into two 7-episode halves. The first 7 episodes aired from November to January, while the remaining 7 were originally slated for summer 2023.
Why Fans Expected the Remaining Episodes This Summer
When the season 5 split was first announced, Paramount stated the second batch of episodes would arrive in summer 2023. The season’s midseason finale on January 1, 2023 ended on a major cliffhanger for multiple storylines, leaving fans eagerly awaiting resolutions.
The previous two seasons of Yellowstone also followed a similar release schedule, with the first half airing in the fall and the second half arriving the following summer. So naturally, fans were expecting and hoping to get the next set of episodes in June/July 2023.
The summer slot would continue the trend of the last few seasons and avoid making fans wait too long to see what happens next after the big cliffhanger.
The Delay Announcement and Disappointed Fans
However, in late March 2023 Paramount announced that the remaining 7 episodes of Yellowstone season 5 would not be premiering in the summer as originally planned. The network stated they were still working on post-production and a new premiere date would be announced at a later time.
Understandably, this news left fans of the show incredibly disappointed. After the major midseason finale cliffhangers, people were highly anticipating the next episodes hitting their screens in just a few short months.
Discussion online showed many devoted viewers upset and frustrated to have to wait an unspecified amount of extra time to get resolutions to the big outstanding questions from the first half of season 5. Fans had cleared their summer schedules expecting their Sunday night ritual to continue.
Reasons for the Delay
So why exactly are the remaining Yellowstone season 5 episodes not going to meet the original summer premiere date? Here are a few of the likely contributing factors:
- Post-production demands – Industry reports stated the back half of the season faced delays in editing and visual effects due to the show’s increased scale and production values. This pushed the post schedule back further than anticipated.
- Scheduling challenges – Finding slots in the busy shooting schedules of the cast members was said to be difficult and caused delays in filming the final episodes.
- Change in showrunner – Longtime showrunner Taylor Sheridan handed over more control to co-creator John Linson partway through filming, which may have led to some production disruptions.
- Demanding film shoot – Shooting on location in Montana provides incredible scenery but also poses production challenges that may have slowed things down.
- Spinoff projects – Sheridan and others simultaneously working on Yellowstone spinoffs like 1923 may have also drawn focus and resources.
Speculation on New Premiere Date
Though Paramount has yet to announce when exactly fans can expect the season 5B premiere, there is some speculation from industry insiders. Many experts predict a fall 2023 debut, rather than summer.
Some possibilities being discussed include:
- September/October 2023 – This would match the original fall premiere timeframe for past seasons. However, it may be too long of a gap for anxious fans.
- November/December 2023 – A winter premiere could let the show avoid airing during popular fall sports seasons. But this is quite a long wait.
- Early 2024 – There is an outside chance the schedule uncertainties lead to a push back to early next year. We hope this does not happen!
Of course, the network could always surprise us with an earlier debut, but the safest bet seems to be settling in for a fall return to the Dutton ranch.
What to Expect When the Show Returns
When Yellowstone season 5 eventually returns for its second half, fans can expect it to pick up right where the midseason finale left off in January 2023.
The major cliffhangers that viewers are waiting to see resolved include:
- Jamie appearing ready to shoot his biological father Garrett after learning about him ordering attacks on the Duttons.
- The results of the election for governor of Montana between Jamie and newcomer John Dutton.
- The tense standoff between the militia group and protesters on the Dutton ranch.
- The uncertain future of the relationship between Rip and Beth.
- The power struggle at Market Equities and its impact on their plans against the Duttons.
And of course, there are bound to be some major new twists and turns introduced in the final 7 episodes. After over a year away, fans will be thrilled to dive back into new episodes and the next stage of the Dutton story when Yellowstone season 5 eventually returns.
The Waiting Game Continues
So for anxious Yellowstone fans, the long wait for answers continues. While it is disappointing not to get new episodes this summer as expected, audiences have to trust that the delay will allow the show’s production team to deliver another set of incredible episodes that live up to the high standards of the series.
The massive popularity and dedicated fandom will surely remain strong whenever the back half of season 5 arrives. In the meantime, we’ll continue speculating on what’s to come and rewatching old episodes to tide us over until the Duttons ride back onto our screens once again. This is certainly a frustrating timeout, but the payoff of the rest of the landmark fifth season will undoubtedly prove worth the wait.