Yellowstone stars threaten to walk unless Paramount+ grants massive raises

Yellowstone stars Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser and Luke Grimes are prepared to walk away from Paramount's upcoming spinoff unless the studio ponies up some serious cash.
Yellowstone /

Kevin Costner might not be the only one leaving the Yellowstone ranch and riding off into the sunset when the series comes to a close with its fifth season.

According to a new report from industry newsletter Puck (via TVLine), Yellowstone stars Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, and Luke Grimes, who respectively play Beth Dutton, Rip Wheeler, and Kayce Dutton on the Paramount Network hit, are prepared to walk away from the network's spinoff series unless the network agrees to hefty raises for each of the stars.

As the report from Puck notes, Reilly and Hauser are each seeking raises that would see them making north of $1 million an episode while also requesting to be at the top of the call sheet for the Paramount+ offshoot, getting top billing over the show's eyed lead, Matthew McConaughey. Meanwhile, Grimes is rumored to be asking for a more moderate raise which was not disclosed by TVLine's report.

Now here is where things get even wilder. The report alleges that the three stars' are pay-or-play for the nixed sixth season of Yellowstone, meaning that the trio's contracts stipulate that they be paid their wages for Season 6 despite the network's decision not to proceed with the previously ordered season. Wait for it, we haven't gotten to the wildest part of this yet.

According to the Puck report, Paramount and Producer 101 Studios have attempted to use the fact that the actors are going to be paid for season 6 as a bargaining tool to persuade them to remain with the franchise without taking a raise. Basically, the studios have suggested using the money they already owe the stars to supplement what they're asking for rather than paying them what they are due and agreeing to the raises. Think of it as your work giving you a bonus, then saying you'll be working without a paycheck for a few weeks to soften the blow.

Needless to say, the actors have not been happy about that stance agreeing that it would be "akin to paying them with money from their own wallets" and are at a standoff with the studios.

It's reported Paramount and 101 Studios have given the actors until the week to accept the final offer that has been presented to them, but it seems this offer will not meet the raises requested from the cast. This means there is a good chance Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, and Luke Grimes could be joining Kevin Costner in riding off into the sunset, leaving Yellowstone behind in their rearview mirror... at which point we have to ask, should Paramount+ even bother moving forward with its spinoff?