Kevin Costner’s Jaw-Dropping Salary for ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Revealed
A new report reveals the incredible salary Kevin Costner is earning from his role on Yellowstone, and fans of the show will be stunned at the massive figure.
According to Variety, the Oscar-winning actor, director and producer is pulling in $1.3 million per episode for Yellowstone, which is currently filming its much-anticipated Season 5 on location in Montana. That figure includes his salary for his starring role as Dutton family patriarch John Dutton, as well as additional fees for his role as a producer on the show.
That massive salary puts Costner in rare company as far as television actors who earn $1 million or more per episode. Variety spoke to a number of agents and other Hollywood insiders to compile their list, and according to their numbers, only The Plot star Mahershala Ali is currently earning the same $1.3 million figure as Costner.
Elizabeth Moss reportedly earns $1.1 million per episode of Shining Girls, while several stars with long legacies in film have joined the list of stars who command $1 million per episode. Michael Keaton earned that for his role on Dopesick, and Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd both rake in $1 million per episode of The Shrink Next Door. Jason Sudeikis also earns $1 million per episode of Ted Lasso.
Yellowstone has become such a massive hit that its co-creator and writer, Taylor Sheridan, is creating a streaming empire with new shows that are attached to the smash hit Western, as well as several other unrelated projects. He's also handing out some of the biggest salaries on television right now; in addition to Costner's massive haul for Yellowstone, Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren are each earning $1 million per episode of the upcoming Yellowstone prequel 1923, while Sylvester Stallone is earning $1 million for each episode of his upcoming Sheridan-created mobster drama, Tulsa King.
Costner's currently reported salary is more than double what he was taking home from Yellowstone when it first launched in 2018, but he was offered plenty of money at that time to make the commitment to a weekly TV series. He had a long string of hit films to his credit when he signed on with the Paramount Network, which at the time was re-branding from the former Spike TV. He'd also won an armload of awards, including both Best Picture and Best Director for 1991's Dances With Wolves, and had done very little television with the exception of his well-received Hatfields & McCoys miniseries in 2012. Paramount Network offered him $500,000 per episode to star in Yellowstone to help launch the show and the new network.
That was a strategic move on Paramount's part, network head Kevin Kay told the Hollywood Reporter.
"The statement we wanted to make was that we’re open for business and we’re willing to pay top-tier actors whatever their quotes are," he said in 2017. "It sends a message and that’s what we want to do."
Costner's co-stars reportedly each earned less than half of Costner's per-episode haul when Yellowstone premiered. Cinema Blend estimated that Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler), Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton), Wes Bentley (Jamie Dutton) and Kelsey Asbille (Monica Dutton) all earned around $200,000 an episode or less, which is in line with various other reports. There are no current reports about the rest of the Yellowstone cast's salaries for Season 5, but since the show has grown to become the most-watched show on cable television, it's safe to assume all of them are earning considerably more now.
Yellowstone Season 5 is scheduled to premiere on Nov. 13. The new season will consist of 14 episodes that are set to air in two arcs of 7 episodes apiece. Seasons 1-4 of the hit Paramount Network show are currently available to stream via Peacock. As part of Taste of Country's comprehensive coverage of all things Yellowstone, check out our Dutton Rules podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.