Yellowstone

Prime Video Quietly Released a Perfect Yellowstone Replacement, and No One Noticed

A contemporary Western, but with more black holes than you’d expect.

Summary

  • Streaming services have been trying to create their own version of Yellowstone for the past six years.
  • Prime Video has one of the best contenders with this particular show.
  • It’s a mix of western and sci-fi starring Josh Brolin.
  • Season Two is dropping in May.

For years now, streaming services and television networks have been fighting to cash in on the success of the Paramount+ hit Yellowstone. That show, created by Taylor Sheridan, features Kevin Costner as a sixth-generation rancher and the patriarch of the Dutton family. The Duttons are a contemporary family who are living an Old West set of values, and they frequently butt heads with rival ranchers, land developers, and the local Indian reservation.

Scrambling to Meet Demand

Yellowstone started off as a low-key success, but by the second season word had spread and it started to snowball into a massive hit. Other networks took notice – who knew there was a thirst for Western content in this day and age?


The CW responded by rebooting the classic series Walker, Texas Ranger in 2021. That series, titled Walker, is still going strong and will begin its fourth season in April.

Over FX, the Western hit Justified ( 2010) was given a spinoff titled Justified: City Primeval. Meanwhile, AMC looked to cash in on the Western craze with 2022’s Dark Winds, and Prime Video joined in the fun with Billy the Kid (2022). Meanwhile, the Netflix version of Yellowstone, American Primeval (no connection to City Primeval), is coming up in 2024.

But if you’re looking for a truly original Yellowstone replacement, you’ve got to look at a different show altogether.

A Neo-Western SciFi Thriller

Prime Video’s Outer Range ticks a lot of Yellowstone boxes. Gruff rancher grandfather played by a Hollywood star? Check. Intense rivalry with the family of ranchers next door? Check. Intergenerational turmoil? Check.

What separates Outer Range from the other Yellowstone wannabes is an intriguing premise and some sci-fi elements that make it truly original.

Josh Brolin plays Royal Abbott, a Wyoming rancher who is struggling to keep his land and family together. His daughter-in-law and granddaughter have gone missing, and the authorities are ceasing to investigate. The neighboring ranch family, the Tillersons, are claiming that a piece of the Abbotts’ land belongs to them.

In the meantime, a mysterious woman named Autumn appears asking for permission to camp on the Abbotts’ land. Royal grants his permission, not knowing that Autumn is hunting down a mysterious symbol that appears all over the ranch… and which may or may not be related to the seemingly bottomless hole that appeared in a field.

When Royal puts his hand inside the hole, he sees prophetic visions of the future. By the end of episode one, there will be more than one body pushed into the void… but one of them will come back from the other side.

Under The Radar

Blame the glut of Western television series popping up everywhere, but in spite of Josh Brolin in the starring role and excellent reviews from critics, Outer Range has mostly flown under the radar. Inverse Magazine calls it ‘One of the boldest, weirdest, and most affecting sci-fi shows of the 21st century’, while The Verge says its ‘mysterious, well-written, and beautifully shot with stunning sound design.’

Luckily for fans, Outer Range has been renewed for a second season, so we might get an answer to some of the mysteries plaguing the Abbott family.

All eight episodes of the new season will drop on May 16, 2024.

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