TV Guide Magazine|December 6 – 19, 2021
Prequel series 1883 reveals the dramatic story of how the Yellowstone family’s ancestors made it to Montana to build their empire

EPIC. THAT’S THE only way to describe creator and executive producer Taylor Sheridan’s prequel to his smash hit contemporary Western Yellowstone, which stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the patriarch of a wealthy cattle ranching family. This supersized story chronicles the dynasty’s humble beginnings: their ancestors’ arduous journey, along with a wagon train of others, from Fort Worth, Texas, to the wilds of Montana, in hopes of a fresh start.

“There are more moving parts to this than I’ve seen in my entire 54-year career,” says Academy Award nominee Sam Elliott, who plays Shea Brennan, a haunted Civil War vet turned tough cowboy and wagon train guide. “In every episode,” he continues, “there’s one morehurdle: famine, thieves, natural disasters, crossing rivers and mountains.”

And interpersonal clashes. Brennan butts heads with 19th-century pioneer and wagon train participant James Dutton— the great-grandfather of Costner’s Yellowstone character—played by another marquee name: country music star Tim McGraw. Sheridan envisioned McGraw in the role, and producers realized there was no better person to play wife Margaret than his real-life spouse, Faith Hill. The married Grammy winners “have chemistry and drive and come to set crushing it,” exec producer David Glasser says. “Nothing fazed them: dirt, mud, sleet, cow pies.”

They’re not unlike their characters, Glasser continues: “The Duttons are very much in love. It’s a marriage of equals. [They’re] determined to find a better life for their family. That’s why they’re traveling in the harshest conditions. Margaret is as strong and tough as they come.”

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