David Oyelewo as Bass Reeves in 'Lawmen: Bass Reeves.' (Emerson Miller/Paramount+)

'Lawmen: Bass Reeves:' Everything Fans Need To Know About the Taylor Sheridan Western Series

Taylor Sheridan's Western series follows a legendary lawman of the frontier.

The latest addition to Taylor Sheridan's TV empire, "Lawmen: Bass Reeves," made its much-anticipated debut Nov. 5, 2023 on Paramount+. Starring Emmy nominee David Oyelowo ("Selma") as the iconic Black cowboy Bass Reeves, the series marks the first time Sheridan has brought the story of a real historical figure to the screen. The "Yellowstone" creator serves as an executive producer on the anthology series, which was written and created by Chad Feehan ("Ray Donovan").

"Lawmen: Bass Reeves" comprises eight episodes and features a stacked cast of supporting players, including Dennis Quaid, Lauren E. Banks, Shea Whigham and Donald Sutherland. Part biopic and part Western adventure, the series covers a lot of historical ground. It traces Reeves' rise from slavery to becoming one of the most famous lawmen in American history. Showrunner Chad Feehan marveled at Reeves' accomplishments in an Oct. 2023 interview with Wide Open Country:

"To be forced to ride into the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy to then escape enslavement over a card game dispute," Feehan told us. "To then go hide amongst the American Indians in Indian Territory and learn their languages and customs. To then becoming the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi."

His stats are pretty incredible, but the show aims to paint a portrait of the man behind the myth. Who else is in the cast, will there be a second season, and when will the series be available to stream? Here's everything you need to know about "Lawmen: Bass Reeves."

What Is 'Lawmen: Bass Reeves' About?

'Lawmen: Bass Reeves' production still

Emerson Miller/Paramount+

The series will focus on Bass Reeves, one of the most famous heroes of the American frontier. Believed to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger, he captured over 3,000 outlaws without ever being injured during his days in the Wild West. He was a lawman in the Indian Territory, so there will be endless opportunities for dramatic stories in the new series. He's also said to have killed as many as 14 men in self-defense.

Born to enslaved parents, Reeves was the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. His remarkable story was initially planned as a spinoff of the "Yellowstone" prequel series "1883" because he lived during that time period.

The series has changed names a few times. It went from "1883: Bass Reeves" to "Bass Reeves," and finally landed at "Lawmen: Bass Reeves." The final title reflects the show's anthology series direction. Bass Reeves' story will only cover one season, with future installments of "Lawmen" starring all-new casts and focusing on other famous lawmen and outlaws of Western history.

Check out the official trailer for "Lawmen: Bass Reeves" below:


British actor David Oyelowo signed on to play the titular Bass Reeves. He will executive produce the project alongside his wife, Jessica Oyelowo, as part of their overall deal with MTV Entertainment Studios via their Yoruba Saxon Productions. Oyelowo is best known for starring as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 2014 film "Selma."

"I remember going out with it five or six years ago and every network cabler said, 'No one's making Westerns, we're not doing that,'" Oyelowo told TheWrap. "And then we went out with it another two years later and they said, 'Oh, everyone's making Westerns. We're not doing that.' So it's nice to finally have that project land somewhere great. And I'm a huge fan of Taylor Sheridan, so getting to work with him is pretty great as well."

Who's in the Cast of 'Lawmen: Bass Reeves'?

'Lawmen: Bass Reeves' production still

Lauren Smith/Paramount+

For a deep-dive into each actor in "Lawmen," head to our handy cast and character guide. Otherwise, here's a rundown of who's who:

  • Dennis Quaid: Sherrill Lynn, a Deputy U.S. Marshal
  • Lauren E. Banks: Jennie, described as "the strong and fiercely loyal wife of Bass Reeves."
  • Forrest Goodluck: Billy Crow, said to be a "young Cherokee man with an affinity for dime store books and gaudy style"
  • Donald Sutherland: Judge Isaac Parker, a judge at the Fort Smith Courthouse who recruits Reeves to the Marshal Service
  • Shea Whigham: Col. George Reeves, the upright and incredibly cruel master of Bass Reeves.
  • Garrett Hedlund: Garrett Montgomery, a so-called posse man of the era who Bass hires for his riding know-how and expertise of the area
  • Grantham Coleman: Edwin Jones, an extremely persuasive man who has a clear vision and a promise for the future, to those who will listen
  • Demi Singleton: Sally, described as "Bass and Jennie's (Banks) precocious daughter"
  • Barry Pepper: Esau Pierce, said to be "the leader of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles and a battle tested warrior himself"
  • Cole Hauser: Undisclosed role
  • Rob Morgan: Ramsey, a once-strong man who has been broken by time
  • Ryan O'Nan: Darrell Dolliver, an outlaw Reeves is tasked with bringing to justice
  • Joaquina Kalukango: Esme, a former enslaved woman who's like family to the Reeves clan
  • Justin Hurtt-Dunkley: Ike, a Deputy U.S. Marshal
  • Lonnie Chavis: Arthur Mayberry, a young boy with eyes for Bass Reeves' daughter Sally
  • Mo Brings Plenty: Minco Dodge, a Choctaw Native American and friend to Bass Reeves

Where Was the Series Filmed?

'Lawmen: Bass Reeves' production still

Emerson Miller/Paramount+

"Yellowstone" star Denim Richards shared a photo on Instagram that featured various "Yellowstone" actors and Oyelowo on horseback at Sheridan's massive ranch in Texas. Bosque Ranch has served as a filming location for scenes in "Yellowstone" and "1883," so it makes sense that the property would also serve as the backdrop for "Lawmen." The show was also filmed in Fort Worth in Oct. 2022.

How to Watch 'Lawmen: Bass Reeves'

Chad Feehan and David Oyelowo on the set of "Lawmen: Bass Reeves"

Chad Feehan and David Oyelowo on the set of "Lawmen: Bass Reeves." (Paramount+)

Following the Dec. 2023 season finale, "Lawmen: Bass Reeves" is available to stream on Paramount+.

READ MORE: 'Yellowstone' Prequel Series '1944': Everything Fans Need to Know