While we've all been worrying about what the future of Yellowstone holds for Kevin Costner's John Dutton on the Paramount Network, the star has been busy working on another TV show. But this time, he was helping write and develop the series himself in partnership with A+E Studios and Disney's 20th Television. We know Costner is a skilled filmmaker based on his Oscar-winning Dances With Wolves, so we were really looking forward to the project.
It was a real shock when ABC decided that they actually wanted to pass on the new show, despite announcing earlier this year they would be moving forward with it.
What Was The Premise?
The series was set to follow the Investigative Services Branch of the National Parks Service and the vast array of criminal activity they face as they work on protecting the national monuments within the park borders. The series actually got pushed back a year during the 2020 pandemic but had received an official pilot order earlier this year. Costner wrote the new series with showrunner Aaron Helbing, known for his work on The Flash, and Jon Baird. Anthony Hemingway was set to executive produce and direct the drama pilot.
"This project came from a long-running friendship with Tana Jamieson of A+E Studios," Costner said in a press release. "We had previously developed a project together and when she asked me to work with her on this, her passion for the project made it an easy decision for me. I am excited to be working with ABC because of their history of breaking new ground and for their strong support of our creative vision."
Kevin Costner Wasn't Actually Going to Be In It
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Costner didn't actually have an acting role in the series. His epic story on Dutton Ranch will continue on the Paramount Network (despite the dramatic third season finale) but he was committed to working on his new show behind the scenes. One thing we would have loved to see is the incredible scenery in National Parks similar to Yellowstone as the park rangers work in some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in North America.
If you've been a longtime fan of National Geographic, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan's The National Parks: America's Best Idea on PBS, or honestly just like visiting stunning places like the Grand Canyon, Alaska, Yosemite, or the Great Smoky Mountains, you probably would have loved the TV series. Sadly, we'll never know what we missed out on!
This article was originally posted on February 21, 2021. It was updated on July 2, 2021.