Ranking Taylor Sheridan’s TV Empire: From Yellowstone Peaks to 1923 Valleys

In the wake of the tumultuous yet enthralling cowboy drama “Yellowstone,” Taylor Sheridan has seemingly been handed a carte blanche to expand his creative dominion, a privilege he has vigorously exercised over the past five years. Sheridan’s touch, though varying in intensity across his projects, consistently stamps his unique brand on each narrative.

Yellowstone – At the heart of it all stands “Yellowstone,” the venerable cornerstone of Sheridan’s expanding universe, currently experiencing a subtle yet noticeable loosening of its unchallenged supremacy. This shift is partly attributed to “Yellowstone” benefiting from a longer run—over double the seasons of Sheridan’s subsequent ventures—allowing it to establish and expand its saga across four and a half seasons. Behind the scenes, however, fans are privy to the off-screen drama that has shaped the narrative’s course, including contractual disputes involving Kevin Costner, production hiccups, and legal entanglements involving Cole Hauser’s coffee venture.

As “Yellowstone’s” pivotal fifth season unfolds amid declining quality, it’s evident that the initial allure that captivated audiences may be waning. Nonetheless, the series’ extensive narrative scope continues to provide a competitive edge. If all of Sheridan’s creations were afforded equal longevity, “Yellowstone” would arguably still reign supreme, thanks to the mesmerizing narrative fabric woven in its initial seasons, featuring an intricate blend of resilient characters, contemporary dilemmas, and old western ethos.

Mayor of Kingstown – “Kingstown,” co-crafted with Hugh Dillon, delves into the prison-centric economy of a fictional Michigan city, drawing inspiration from unexpected real-world nuances, challenging stereotypical perceptions of Canadians. Despite a discernible dip in its sophomore season, the series thrives on Sheridan and Dillon’s gritty narrative style and a deep, compelling portrayal of familial strife and ambition.

Tulsa King” breaks new ground, showcasing Sheridan’s underappreciated wit, a trait that earned his screenplay for “Hell or High Water” an Oscar nomination. Starring Sylvester Stallone in his television debut, the series paints the riveting journey of Mafia capo Dwight “The General” Manfredi as he forges a new empire in Tulsa, Oklahoma, surrounded by an ensemble of engaging characters.

1883 – another chapter in the Dutton family saga, offers a broader scope than its predecessor, with Sam Elliott leading as Shea Brennan. Tasked with guiding families to prosperity via the Oregon Trail, the series blends tragedy with triumph, particularly highlighting the Duttons’ early ancestors, portrayed by real-life couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, alongside Isabel May.

1923 – Yet, even Sheridan isn’t immune to narrative stumbles. “1923” dazzles with its scenic grandeur and meticulous period detail but occasionally falters in storytelling depth. Meanwhile, “Special Ops: Lioness” reinvigorates Sheridan’s creative spirit, focusing on a covert team navigating the complexities of global terror, with standout performances adding layers of realism to the narrative.

In the broader tapestry of Sheridan’s work, each series adds unique threads to his storytelling legacy, blending authentic representation, cultural respect, and character-driven tales. Despite some series not achieving the same iconic status as “Yellowstone,” Sheridan’s explorative journey across genres and themes continues to enchant audiences, proving that his narrative wellspring is far from depleted.