Yellowstone is a TV series set in southwestern Montana in the present day, starring Kevin Costner as the widowed patriarch John Dutton, whose forebears founded the fictional Yellowstone Ranch in 1883. That ranch, said to be larger than Rhode Island, is threatened by the encroachments of real estate developers, multinational financiers, environmental activists, and the leaders of a fictional Indian reservation called Broken Rock. And the Dutton family cannot agree about how, or whether, to resist those encroachments.

Five years ago when Yellowstone first appeared on the Paramount Network, it was dismissed by critics as a retread of the old-fashioned western, recycling old-fashioned values for a red-state niche market. Today, it is a top-rated show on both cable and streaming services. Prominent publications like The Atlantic are hailing it as “America’s most popular TV show.” And Taylor Sheridan, the horse trainer and indie filmmaker from Texas who created it, boasts of “shooting over $1 billion worth of television shows” for Paramount.

Among these are four Yellowstone prequels. Two are available now: 1883, about the pioneer generation of the Duttons heading west on a wagon train; and 1923, starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford as Dutton descendants battling cattle thieves, sheepherders, and

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