Is Lawmen: Bass Reeves a Yellowstone spin-off?

Jasmine Valentine
Horse riding in Lawmen: Bass ReevesParamount+

Pistols at the ready… Paramount+ is back in the Wild West thanks to Lawmen: Bass Reeves. However, a question still looms – is it a Yellowstone spin-off?

Since it first aired back in 2018, the hype for Yellowstone has only continued to grow. Having left viewers on the cliffhanger of Season 5 Part 1, a definitive release date for Season 5 Part 2 has yet to be nailed down.

In the meantime, a brand-new Paramount show is set to launch on November 5, 2023. Also produced by Yellowstone mastermind Taylor Sheridan, Lawmen: Bass Reeves follows the real-life lawman of the same name (played by David Oyelowo), who is thought to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger.

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With the two series so closely linked in terms of genre, does Lawmen: Bass Reeves actually have anything to do with Yellowstone at all?

Is Lawmen: Bass Reeves a Yellowstone spin-off?

No, Lawmen: Bass Reeves isn’t a Yellowstone spin-off. However, when the project was first announced, it was touted to fit into the existing Yellowstone world.

When Bass Reeves was originally announced back in 2021, it was hinted that the series was envisioned as a spin-off – or even a second series – for Yellowstone prequel 1883.

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Given that Bass Reeves was alive from 1838-1910, it makes sense that the timings would work for a follow-up to 1883. Sam Elliot, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill were also originally rumored to appear in the series.

However, as more details were revealed about Lawmen: Bass Reeves, it has since been confirmed that the show will be a standalone in the ever-growing Sheridan-verse. The series has executive producers including Oyelowo and Sheridan, and is created by Chad Feehan.

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At present, the show’s official synopsis reads: “About the legendary lawman Bass Reeves, one of the greatest frontier heroes and one of the first Black deputy US marshals west of the Mississippi River in American history.”

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, David Oyelowo spoke of his high hopes for the show.

“My goal, my hope, my ambition for this has always been to have an opportunity to contextualize the contribution of Black people to this country in a way that colors outside of the lines of what we have normally seen.

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“The extraordinary story of Bass Reeves exemplifies just that. To collaborate with world-class talent like Taylor Sheridan to tell those stories to the widest audience possible is our dream, and we believe that can and will be realized through the shared ambitions we have with ViacomCBS and its signature branded platforms.”

Lawmen: Bass Reeves streams on Paramount Plus from November 5. Check out our other coverage below:

About The Author

Jasmine Valentine is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's written for the likes of Total Film, The Daily Beast, and Radio Times. Jasmine loves anime, dystopian thrillers, and anything starring Tilda Swinton. You can email her here: jasmine.waters@dexerto.com.