Netflix’s New Western TV Show Looks Like It Will Make Yellowstone Seem Tame

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  • Netflix is releasing a new Western series called American Primeval that will have darker tones than Yellowstone.
  • The success of Yellowstone has led to a resurgence in the Western genre, with many other studios developing their own Western projects.
  • While Netflix is trying to replicate the success of Yellowstone with American Primeval, it will likely struggle to match the acclaim and popularity of the original series.

Netflix is jumping on the Yellowstone bandwagon with the Western television series American Primeval, but the first footage from the upcoming show indicates that it will feature darker tones than its predecessor. Although the first season of Yellowstone was met with mixed reviews, Paramount took a chance on the Taylor Sheridan series, and by the time season 2 rolled around, it was one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows on television. It just kept on getting better, and consequentially, many other production studios took notice and began developing their own Western projects.

The Western genre is making a comeback, undoubtedly thanks to Yellowstone. Sheridan continues to produce projects in the genre, from his 2023 miniseries Lawmen: Bass Reeves to his upcoming show Land Man. Kevin Costner is directing, writing, producing, and starring in a four-part Western epic called Horizon: An American Saga. Amazon Prime Video has a few of its own projects in the works. Finally, Netflix has seemingly dedicated itself to replicating Yellowstone‘s success with American Primeval.

The Best Order To Watch Yellowstone & Its Many Spinoffs

The Yellowstone universe has begun to grow, sprouting several spinoff series which span several generations. Here’s the proper viewing order.

American Primeval Looks Like A Darker, Bigger & More Violent Yellowstone

A group of indigenous Americans on horseback ride through the midwest in American Primeval

American Primeval

American Primeval is a Netflix limited series that follows the lives of several men and women in the middle of the expansion of the American West. Social dynamics clash as men and women battle for a piece of the new world against rivals and each other.

Peter Berg , Eric Newman , Mark L. Smith


Peter Berg , Eric Newman , Mark L. Smith

Peter Berg

Netflix released a first look at its 2024 television series and films on February 1, and the video features footage from American Primeval. Although the first look is brief, it informs viewers what to expect from the upcoming Western. The three scenes from the video include wagons traveling through a gloomy and mysterious landscape, Taylor Kitsch’s character drawing his gun, and men on horses on Indigenous land seemingly riding into battle. Based on these three clips (and their editing and dark coloring), the Netflix limited series will likely be more gruesome and brutal than Yellowstone.

The upcoming show is produced by Pete Berg, Eric Newman, and Mark L. Smith and revolves around the fight to control the American West and a violent clash of cultures and religions. According to Tudum by Netflix, the cast of American Primeval includes:

  • Kitsch as Isaac
  • Jai Courtney as Virgil Cutter
  • Kyle Bradley Davis as Tilly
  • Dane DeHaan as Jacob Pratt
  • Betty Gilpin as Sara Rowell
  • Nick Hargrove as Cottrell
  • Derek Hinkey as Red Feather
  • Saura Lightfoot Leon as Abish
  • Preston Mota as Devin Rowell
  • Shawnee Pourier as Two Moons
  • Joe Tippett as James Wolsey
  • Shea Whigham as Jim Bridger

American Primeval will be a six-part miniseries that premieres sometime in 2024.

American Primeval Shows How Much Netflix Wants Its Own Yellowstone

Westerns Are Becoming A Competitive Point For Streamers

A closeup of a man staring angrily in the Netflix American Primeval first look

The existence of American Primeval proves that Netflix is trying to replicate the success of Yellowstone. However, the first released look at the upcoming limited series demonstrates how the streaming platform strives to surpass what the Paramount show has done by increasing the violence and the harsh nature of the West (at least, in the early days of Americans trying to colonize it). So, Netflix is not attempting to replicate Taylor Sheridan’s magnum opus but instead putting its spin on the Western genre. The company wants its own Yellowstone, which is evident from the Next on Netflix 2024 video.

American Primeval is not the only Western television series coming soon to Netflix. The streaming service has another show — Ransom Canyon — in production that ventures into the in-demand genre. Ransom Canyon, starring Minka Kelly and Josh Duhamel and created, written, and executive produced by April Blair, depicts a Western romance story in modern times. Duhamel’s character owns a ranch in Texas, while Kelly’s character leaves New York and returns home to the Texas town. A release date for the show is unknown, but it’s just one of many Westerns that Netflix has in the works following the success of Yellowstone.

is currently available to stream on Peacock. Its spinoff series,
, are available to stream on Paramount+. There are still at least three more spinoff series in development.

American Primeval Will Struggle To Match Yellowstone’s Success

Kevin Costner Won The 2023 Best Actor In A Drama Series Golden Globe For Yellowstone

Even though the streaming platform is undoubtedly trying to follow in Yellowstone‘s mighty footsteps with the release of American Primeval, the upcoming limited series will probably struggle to match the success of the Paramount show. Taylor Sheridan’s series has received unprecedented acclaim from critics and viewers alike, and it is unlikely that any following project that tries to emulate its accomplishments will succeed in doing so. Many will try, but the neo-Western drama has been on the air since 2018, continuously raising the standards for the genre.

Of course, attempting to make American Primeval as triumphant as Yellowstone is not impossible. Perhaps it will surprise everyone once it is released sometime in 2024. However, the odds are that Netflix‘s darker and more violent version of Yellowstone won’t surpass the success of the Paramount series, especially because it will only contain six episodes.

Yellowstone Poster

Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner and centers on his character, John Dutton. Dutton and his family live on a cattle ranch just a few hours away from Yellowstone National Park. The series chronicles the family’s struggle to defend their home from an Indian reservation and land developers. As if their life wasn’t complicated enough, the Duttons also have medical issues, political aspirations, and family secrets stacked against them.

Finn Little , Brecken Merrill , Gil Birmingham , Denim Richards , Ian Bohen , Danny Huston , Kelly Reilly , Forrie J. Smith , Cole Hauser , Kelsey Asbille , Wes Bentley , Jefferson White , Kevin Costner , Luke Grimes , Ryan Bingham


Taylor Sheridan

Source: Tudum by Netflix

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