Taylor Sheridan attends the "1923" Las Vegas premiere screening the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on December 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / Faith Hill and Isabel May in '1883'/ Harrison Ford in '1923'
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Paramount+/ Paramount

'Yellowstone' Creator Taylor Sheridan Reveals the Unexpected Way '1923' Was Born

*1883 spoilers below.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill took center stage on the Taylor Sheridan-created series 1883, which is a prequel to the hit Western drama Yellowstone, and Sheridan recently revealed a grave mistake he made when producing the prequel series. Viewers of the show know that in the series' shocking finale, all of the characters meet their demise. Sheridan wrote the show this way assuming there wouldn't be a second season, but what he didn't realize is Paramount+ had already renewed the show for season two. He found out this news after he had already killed off all the characters of the show, so he was stuck trying to come up with a second season with no characters left to tell the story.

"[W]hen they read the last episode of 1883, I don't think they digested what had just happened, even though I made it quite clear from the very beginning," Sheridan said in an interview with Deadline. "The story I heard is Bob Bakish [CEO of Paramount Global] watched it and said, 'Wait a minute, she dies! They all die? What do we do in Season 2?' I said, 'There is no Season 2.' They're like, 'There better be a f****ing Season 2 because we already picked it up.' I'm sitting here going, 'Guys, everyone is dead.'"

Now pigeonholed thanks to his own writing on 1883, Sheridan was forced to pivot to come up with another story, so he started looking more into the history of Montana. He found a wealth of information in the time following the first World War related to the Spanish Flu and Montana's ranching economy. It was then that newly-premiered series 1923 was born.

"I studied Montana's history and the History of the world. [...] And they kept going, 'When are we going to get a script?' I said, 'I don't know. Everyone is dead. I don't know how to write the next season of this damn thing [1883],' but I kept hunting history, and I kept finding things. It's the one great thing about the Dutton family; you can skip generations and put them in all these unique situations, and it has nothing to do with 'Yellowstone', nothing to do with '1883' and yet it's tethered completely to them, but they're all standalones. That's what I find so intriguing about it."

1923 premiered on Paramount+ on Dec. 18, and it features Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren at the helm.

READ MORE: Where is '1923' Filmed? The 'Yellowstone' Prequel's Filming Locations, From Malta to Montana