Kevin Costner has landed a new series amid uncertainty surrounding his “Yellowstone” future. The actor will host and executive produce “Kevin Costner’s The West” (working title) for History Channel, the network announced Wednesday. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will also executive produce.
The eight-episode documentary series explores the clichés and myths of the “Wild West” and features various perspectives that “capture the spirit of opportunity, adventure and peril through the diverse, complex characters and untold stories that defined the era and continue to shape our country today.”
“I am in love with history. I love the rich, heroic and harrowing stories of the West. The people and their stories have always held a fascination for me, but there’s an urgency today to put those times and the men and women who we think we know in perspective, in the context of their times, without judgement,” said Costner in a statement. “This particular West project is significant for me as it marks a return to The History Channel, the home of my first foray into television with the ‘Hatfields & McCoys’, and an opportunity to partner with the legendary biographer and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who so artfully weaves together important stories that are at once expansive, intimate and true.”
“Kevin Costner’s body of work on the American West has defined him as one of the finest storytellers of this genre and of our time,” said Goodwin in a statement. “What a privilege it is for my partner Beth Laski and I to collaborate with Kevin and his team and our trusted colleagues at The History Channel and Radical Media to portray with authenticity and accuracy a sweeping and nuanced portrait of the American West and its people, places and movements at this pivotal time in American history.”
According to History Channel, “Kevin Costner’s The West” will be told through characters, historical archive and expert interviews, creating a portrait of the American frontier from the literal trailblazers to the law enforcers and the bloody battles for both land and freedom. The series will also illuminate how the stories of The West continue to impact the nation today.
The announcement comes as Costner’s “Yellowstone” future remains a hot topic.
Speculation surfaced that the current iteration of the Paramount Network drama could come to an end due to Costner’s alleged desire to shorten his work hours, with the network reportedly in talks with Matthew McConaughey to lead a potential “Yellowstone” offshoot. Costner’s attorney, Marty Singer, pushed back against the claims, telling ET that the allegations “Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season 5 of ‘Yellowstone’ is an absolute lie.”
“It’s ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second,” Singer continued in his statement. “As everyone who knows anything about Kevin is well aware, he is incredibly passionate about the show and has always gone way above and beyond to ensure its success.”
Paramount Network also seemingly stood by Costner, with a spokesperson telling ET, “As we previously stated, Kevin has been a key component of the success of our ‘Yellowstone’ series, and we hope that continues from here on out.”
“Yellowstone” is currently on hiatus after wrapping up the first half of season 5, with a vague Paramount Network teaser teeing up a summer return for the series.
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