Inside ‘Yellowstone’ creator Taylor Sheridan’s $350M ranch amid spending scandal
It’s recently been revealed that the creator and director behind the hit series “Yellowstone” had been renting out his massive Texas ranch to producers — leaving some to speculate whether the hefty price tag he was charging contributed to the show’s end.
The blockbuster series that starred Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser is set to wrap with the second half of season 5 this summer after five years on the air.
Sheridan, 52, known as one of Hollywood’s preeminent Western storytellers, has been charging the network a whopping $50,000 per week for his own show to film at his two sprawling ranch properties.
Employees on the set were puzzled to learn that Paramount was paying a horse wrangler 1,600 miles away, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Back in the show’s production offices in Stevensville, Montana, confusing expenses were piling up, including a time card requesting more than $3,000 from a wrangler named Barbara Stuart, the Journal reported on Friday.
“I was surprised to see a timecard for a TX wrangler come through last week even though we are now shooting in Montana,” Mary Jasionowski, the show’s production controller, wrote to Ms. Stuart, who was also not known to the head of animal handling on set.
“I am Taylor Sheridan’s wrangler,” Ms. Stuart wrote back, saying she worked on one of his ranches and prepared his horses for use in filming the show.
Paramount and 101 Studios executives, who jointly produced the show, acknowledged that the filmmakers’ projects can be costly — episodes of the “Yellowstone” prequel “1923” run a bill of at least $22 million each — but said they are comfortable with their working relationship.
“Taylor’s shows are among our most successful and profitable,” a Paramount spokeswoman told the newspaper.
A few days later they would announce “Yellowstone” had come to an end.
Worth an estimated $350 million, one of the ranches where the show was filmed occupies more than 266,255 acres — nearly twice the size of Chicago, seven times the size of Brooklyn and larger than sprawling San Antonio.
Up until Sheridan owned it, the ranch, which encompasses three separate properties, had stayed in the same family for over 150 years, since 1870.
Headlined as a “one-of-a-kind resort quality ranch,” the property offers panoramic views of the Brazos River Valley, with roughly 700 feet of river frontage and a large rock retaining wall to partition the land.
The ranch boasts architectural features indicative of hill country style, such as corn crib walls, pine flowers, stones showers and vast verandas, the previous listing notes. Amenities include a pool and spa.
The ample estate is completed with a two-bedroom guesthouse and private stables. Combined there are six bedrooms and six bathrooms.
More typical ranch features on the property include more than four dozen stalls between three barns and a covered walker for up to six horses. Meanwhile, the cattle yard consists of five large pipe pens, a loaded ramp, and graveled lanes.
Four Sixes is rodeo ready with two covered event spaces — a 150-foot round pen, and a 120-by-200-foot arena that includes oversized cattle pens, a mechanical cow and optional swinging panels to divide the space in half. There’s also a lighted 140-foot outdoor arena with a four-horse walker and a covered viewing stand.
Elsewhere throughout the property, there are two homes, multiple apartments, and one newly remodeled mobile home.
“There are truly too many amenities to list,” the previous listing adds.
Sheridan also owns the Bosque Ranch, a 600-acre property where much of Yellowstone and its spinoffs are also filmed.
In addition to his film and TV projects, Sheridan has developed adjacent profit streams based on his properties, such as his actor-training “Cowboy Camps,” and renting-out herds of cattle, at $25 a head, for video shoots and various other productions.
Combined, Paramount has spent more than $500 million a year on the production of Sheridan’s shows.
On Tuesday, Paramount cut 25% of their television staff amid news the show was coming to an end. The network also announced MTV News, which they own, is also set to shut down after nearly 35 years on air.
Sheridan spent years in Hollywood trying to make it as an actor, landing small roles in shows like Sons of Anarchy and Veronica Mars.
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“I left LA the second I could get out,” he told Cowboys & Indians Magazine in 2020 interview.
“My wife’s from up in Wyoming, and my mother lives up there, so we moved there for a number of years, until I finally convinced her to come try my home state,” he added. “I moved her to Texas on August 1, because I figured I might as well just pull the Band-Aid off quick. She didn’t understand the heat for a bit, but then she figured it out, and now she’s a Texan.”