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Lawmen: Bass Reeves is secretly connected to Yellowstone, and here's the explanation

The famous "Sheridan-verse" is expanding in many directions.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves
Image credit: Paramount+

There's been much chatter over the last few months regarding the new Paramount+ six-episode limited series about the first black deputy US marshal west of the Mississippi river, Bass Reeves. Originally announced back in 2021, the David Oyelowo-led show was (shortly afterwards) first renamed 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, which directly connected it with Taylor Sheridan's most popular Yellowstone prequel series.

However, a later change arrived in April 2023, renaming the series with a new brand in mind. Now, Lawmen: Bass Reeves is set as the first season of an anthology series centered around the great lawmen of the Old West. This allows both 'Yellowstone-verse' overlord Taylor Sheridan and the producers to keep high-profile actors on board and recruit fresh new talent as needed while exploring new stories each season. It's a flexible model for the production companies as well as the Paramount streamer, which has found tons of success with this unsuspected TV universe.

Doesn't this disconnect Lawmen: Bass Reeves from the bigger Yellowstone narrative? Not entirely, as it was already designed to work on its own, and this was just a simple matter of branding. Taking 1883 out of the show's title helps recruit new viewers, as audiences are often scared of jumping into interconnected shows and movies that have been running for years. The limited series still happens within the same continuity, but this gives everyone more maneuvering room should they need it. So no, Lawmen: Bass Reeves technically isn't a 1883 or Yellowstone spinoff, since the anthology plans make this show and the following under that umbrella work as standalone stories. They're, nonetheless, set in the same shared universe, so cameos and small connections aren't entirely out of the question.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves will be available to stream on Paramount+ on November 5, and here's everything you need to know ahead of the premiere.


Lawmen: Bass Reeves is just one of the many upcoming TV shows we're looking forward to. Check out here all the TV series, both on streaming and broadcast TV, you should keep an eye on.