Before we dip into the huge costs in the world of Taylor Sheridan, which were reported in a Wall Street Journal article, let’s take a moment to appreciate the timing. The article came out the morning after Paramount Global’s Q1 earnings report, which revealed a $511 million loss in streaming, almost 28 percent of the drop in the stock price, and a Wells Fargo analyst strongly suggesting that the company should give up on streaming altogether.

Hollywood is known for spoiling its stars, but Taylor Sheridan is not like that. He’s the sole responsible person for five shows that are the backbone of Paramount+, and at least five more are in the works. He also oversees a small industry that helps support it, so that makes Paramount in a position to not say “no.”

The WSJ says that Paramount spends more than a whopping $500 million a year making Taylor Sheridan’s series, which include “1923,” “1883,” “Tulsa King,” and “Mayor of Kingstown.” The magazine stated that each episode of “1923” costs about $22 million. The expenses include paying for things like herds of cattle that cost $25 each, a “cowboy camp” that lasts for a week, and Harrison Ford’s flight insurance because he likes to fly prop planes as a hobby.

Taylor Sheridan with Yellowstone cast

Many of Sheridan’s shows are filmed on the historic 142,372-acre Four Sixes ranch, which he owns with a group of partners, including David Glasser’s production company, 101 Studios, which produces the shows.

He is not writing ‘shoot at my ranch’ in the script. Those demands are never made. When the [line producer] or I go to Taylor and ask him to cut a day out of the schedule for budget purposes, he is more than willing to accommodate,

101 Studios president Glasser told WSJ.

However, when a line producer comes in and says, ‘Why don’t you cut the river crossing sequence out of the show on “1883,”‘ that for sure will be something he is prepared to lock horns over.

The expected per-episode cost of the first season of “Yellowstone,” which aired in 2018, was about $7 million. By the end of production, it was more than $20 million over budget, and there were only nine episodes instead of the 10 to 11 that had been planned. The budget for each episode of the most recent season of “Yellowstone” was $12 million, but the costs ended up being more than a few million dollars higher than expected.


Paramount and Taylor Sheridan were reached out for a comment on the WSJ story, but neither of them gave any.

There’s never a good time to talk about how much it costs to make the most popular shows on a streaming service that loses money, but Taylor Sheridan has made it clear that he thinks the show’s investment in being real is key to its success.

Taylor Sheridan

Taylor Sheridan told National Cattleman’s Beef Association president Don Schiefelbein on February 1 at the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention that he knew he could get the attention of real ranchers if he used the same high-quality jeans, saddles, or riding bits that real ranchers liked.

I wanted it to be real and authentic and I wanted a bunch of cowboys to watch it,

he said.

If I could do [that], I could get everybody to watch it… [Now] there’s a Boot Barn on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, and I put it there.

He also discussed buying the Four Sixes ranch, which was for sale for $350 million in December 2021. Taylor Sheridan’s group of investors bought the ranch for $192.2 million in May 2022. Sheridan told Schiefelbein that the Sheridan-verse might not have been written at all if the ranch wasn’t bought by him.

My plan was to retire and just run these movie horses and show horses,

he said.

[I told my wife], it’s gonna change that. I’m going to have to go to the network and make a big overall deal with them and write a whole bunch of TV shows for them in order to pull this off.

In February 2021, Sheridan renewed and extended his overall deal with Paramount, which now lasts until 2028.

Taylor Sheridan added,

There’s nothing better than a movie company showing up and filming for about a month and paying you a bunch of money and leaving. It’s about the greatest deal going.