LA’s Paleyfest highlights some of the hottest TV shows of the season while delivering prominent stars within panels. Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, which is inarguably the toast of TV these days, nabbed a Saturday night slot for the festival, yet the event did not go down as advertised. In fact, what did happen will not stop eyebrows from raising while people recall a disputed Deadline report that floated a Kevin Costner departure from the franchise’s flagship series. And of course, people will wonder if there are more changes afoot with some Taylor Sheridan shows, or if drama is to blame.
Granted, there has been absolutely no concrete confirmation of the Costner drama. In fact, his lawyer pushed back at a portion of the Deadline report that claimed that he only wanted to spend a week shooting the back half of the fifth season. Yes, that part of the report did sound “off,” but something went amiss with the scheduling and execution of this weekend’s event. As we’ll discuss further below, tweets like this one surfaced as a result.
No slight to the actors who were there, but @paleycenter should offer refunds for the @Yellowstone program tonight. Not a single person, not one, who was listed to be there was actually there. #PaleyFest @DolbyTheatre pic.twitter.com/BGSLnLdKLu
— Sean Meade (@seaninthemiddle) April 2, 2023
What went wrong? As shown on the Paleyfest website (and in the below screencap), both Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner were listed as part of a large panel scheduled to appear onstage.
Neither of them appeared at the event. Nor did Wes Bentley or several other listed principal cast members. Given that this occurred on April 1, one could wonder if this was an ill-advised prank, but as Deadline even notes in their headline, this was “No April Fool’s Joke.”
Variety‘s Emily Longeretta reported from the event, where she tweeted that “[p]ress / fans were not alerted” to the apparent change of plans. As well, it doesn’t seem that the group was busy filming because the panel provided “[n]o update for part 2 of #Yellowstone season 5. The cast has not yet started filming or been given a start date.”
— Emily Longeretta (@emilylongeretta) April 2, 2023
— Emily Longeretta (@emilylongeretta) April 2, 2023
As Variety further reported, Sheridan and the main cast “were expected” to attend but did not “due to scheduling conflicts.” The outlet detailed the oddness that transpired when four actors not listed on the schedule were the only cast members to appear, along with President of Scripted at MTV Entertainment Studios Kevin Cox:
About 30 minutes before the red carpet was supposed to begin at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, press was let in and given a tip sheet with four only cast member names on it: Josh Lucas, Wendy Moniz, Mo Brings Plenty and Dawn Olivieri. Additionally, Paramount Network development president Keith Cox was also attended, but did not speak to press on the carpet.
The original list of those who were supposed to be there included Sheridan and executive producer David Glasser, as well as the show’s stars Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Bentley, Gil Birmingham and Jacki Weaver. Variety was told that the cast could not attend due to scheduling conflicts.
The fan reactions on social media expressed understandable disappointment. One Twitter user reported that people were “walking out” during the panel. Another lamented the cost of $100 for a ticket.
Super disappointed in today’s @paleycenter @Yellowstone event at Paleyfest…no disrespect to the actors that showed up but no one listed showed up…people were walking out #PaleyFest2023 pic.twitter.com/aXHwtuHHaA
— Fan_of Music (@musicfan_23) April 2, 2023
Yeah as someone who paid over $100 a ticket I'm pretty fn pissed. Quite the bait and switch. People are walking out.
— 96KTF (@DebL2021) April 2, 2023
In addition, several more Yellowstone fans (some of whom travelled substantial distances for this event) want their money back.
— james (@james79766926) April 2, 2023
I want a refund #PaleyFest #yellowstone utah to California with no main cast @DolbyTheatre Hollywood. The cost to fly out stay at a hotel and to eat was not worth the show. #Ineedtobecompt @Yellowstone #paleyfest I'm low income and I saved and work really hard to be here. 😞
— Sylvia (@Sylvia00076212) April 2, 2023
— chitchattj (@chitchattj) April 2, 2023
Things not to do in L.A. this weekend or ever again: #PaleyFestLA. "Guests subject to change" is one thing, but the @Yellowstone creator, EP, and 8 cast members ditching with no notice? What a ripoff. @paleycenter or @paramountplus owe everyone a refund. https://t.co/frq7xSA85D
— K.T. Wiegman (@ktwiegman) April 2, 2023
Usually not the kinda guy to complain about it, but when #Paleyfest advertised this, but sends out Mo (who I absolutely love), the Market Equities Woman, Governor Lynelle, and Josh Lucas, you kinda feel let down. #Yellowstone pic.twitter.com/QLDR8enZbS
— Mike Blacklist (@mike_blacklist) April 2, 2023
As noted above, whatever led to this scheduling mishap will not quell existing rumors. However, Deadline did report that during the panel, Cox fielded a question about Costner while calling him “our star, the face of our show, and the executive producer.” Cox added, “[W]e are very confident he will continue with the show.”