1883 TV Series Overview (2021)


1883 is an American drama limited series created by Taylor Sheridan that premiered on 19 December 2021, on Paramount+.

Follows the Dutton family on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of uncolonised America.

The series stars Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sam Elliott, Isabel May, LaMonica Garrett, Marc Rissmann, Audie Rick, Eric Nelsen and James Landry Hébert. The series is a prequel to Sheridan’s series Yellowstone and follows the story of how the Duttons came to own the land that would become the Yellowstone Ranch.


The series follows the post-Civil war generation of the Dutton family as they leave Tennessee, journey to Fort Worth, Texas, and join a European immigrant wagon train undertaking the arduous journey west to Oregon, before settling in Montana to establish what would eventually become the Yellowstone Ranch.

  • It will be followed by the sequel series 1932.
  • In addition, on February 15 Paramount ordered “additional episodes” of 1883.


  • Main:
    • Sam Elliott as Shea Brennan, an employ of the Pinkerton Agency leading the expedition. Brennan is a former captain who served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. His wife Helen and daughter both die of smallpox right before the start of the expedition. While mourning their deaths, he cremated them by setting fire to their house and contemplated suicide, but was interrupted by the arrival of Thomas. Brennan acts as the rugged and commanding leader of the wagon train, frequently reminding members of the danger and tragedy that they will face along the way.
    • Tim McGraw as James Dutton, great-great-grandfather of John Dutton. From Tennessee, he was a captain in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War and was wounded during the Battle of Antietam and captured. He was held in a Union prisoner-of-war camp for three years. A skilled leader and combatant, he joins the wagon train with his family after meeting Brennan and Thomas in Forth Worth, Texas.
    • Faith Hill as Margaret Dutton, John Dutton’s great-great-grandmother and the matriarch of the family. She travels via train from Tennessee with her children, sister-in-law, Claire, and niece, Mary Abel, to Fort Worth and begins a new journey with her husband, James.
    • Isabel May as Elsa Dutton, James and Margaret Dutton’s tomboyish and resourceful 17-year-old daughter. Much of the story is told in her voice as narrator. Young, undisciplined and innocent, she looks forward to the expedition as a great adventure. Elsa becomes hardened during the difficult journey west, also becoming enamoured with a cowboy and later a Comanche warrior; much to the dismay of her parents. However, she also becomes a skilled survivalist and cowgirl.
    • LaMonica Garrett as Thomas, a Pinkerton agent and veteran US Army sergeant from a Buffalo Soldier regiment. He teams up with Shea Brennan to help guide the group. His arrival helps dissuade Shea from suicide. Thomas is a skilled frontiersman, and later begins a relationship with a Romani widow named Noemi.
    • Marc Rissmann as Josef, a German immigrant who is married to Risa and worked as a carpenter before travelling to America. He aids the expedition serving as an interpreter for his group and as a liaison between the Americans and immigrants.
    • Audie Rick as John Dutton Sr., John Dutton’s great-grandfather, as a young boy. He is the younger child of James and Margaret and is five years old at the beginning of the journey.
    • Eric Nelsen as Ennis, a young cowboy who is paid to escort the group and tend to their cattle. He develops a relationship with Elsa before being killed by thieves.
    • James Landry Hébert as Wade, the lead cowboy.
    • Noah Le Gros as Colton, an experienced cowboy who joins the group at the Texas-side of the Red River.
  • Recurring:
    • Alex Fine as Grady, an experienced cowboy and the leader of a crew of six drovers, who agrees to help an inexperienced crew round up longhorns for their long journey.
    • Gratiela Brancusi as Noemi, a Romani widow who recently lost her husband and has to raise two young boys on her own. She becomes dependent on and romantically interested in Thomas, seeing him as the man who will replace her late husband as a caretaker.
    • Anna Fiamora as Risa, a young immigrant woman who is married to Josef and joins the traveling camp to move west.
    • Amanda Jaros as Alina, a weary but hopeful immigrant woman who speaks little English but has much resolve.
    • Martin Sensmeier as Sam, a skilled Comanche warrior loyal to Quanah Parker, who later takes Elsa as his wife.
    • James Jordan as Cookie, a foul-mouthed wagon train cook whose poor decision leads to the group’s confrontation with a band of vengeful Lakota.
  • Guest Stars:
    • Billy Bob Thornton as Marshal Jim Courtright.
    • Tom Hanks as General George Meade. In a flashback to the Battle of Antietam, he consoles James Dutton after many of his fellow soldiers are killed. Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, plays another minor character on the show, Carolyn the storekeeper. He is incorrectly portrayed: Meade was not promoted to Major General until after the battle, in which he was wounded.
    • Graham Greene as Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder who tries to help Elsa and who also points James to Paradise Valley, the final destination for the Dutton family.
    • Dawn Olivieri as Claire Dutton, James Dutton’s widowed sister-in-law who joins him and his family on a trip to find a new home. She is intense and stern in manner, like her daughter. She dies by suicide after losing her only surviving child, Mary Abel. She was married to Henry Dutton, and had seven children, all of whom died young.
    • Emma Malouff as Mary Abel Dutton, Claire’s daughter. A prim and proper young woman, she shows disdain and no sympathy for her cousin Elsa for her less traditional values. During an attack by unwelcome intruders, Mary Abel is caught in the crossfire and dies from a bullet wound.
    • Rita Wilson as Carolyn, a kindly storekeeper at Doan’s Crossing, at the border of Texas and Oklahoma. She befriends Margaret when the latter visits her store and they drink whiskey together.
    • Taylor Sheridan as Charles Goodnight, a rancher who hunts cattle thieves.

Series Crossover

To introduce the new series 1883 to Yellowstone viewers, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill reprised their roles as James and Margaret Dutton in flashback scenes in the fourth season of Yellowstone to show what life was like on the Dutton ranch in 1893, ten years after the Dutton family arrival in Montana. In the first episode, “Half the Money”, James Dutton and his preteen sons John, portrayed by Jack Michael Doke, and Spenser, portrayed by Charlie Stover, encountered starving Native Americans who had left the local reservation to bury their father on their former land that had since become a part of the Dutton Ranch. In the eighth episode No Kindness for the Coward, Margaret Dutton and her sons John and Spenser are sitting at the dinner table in their ranch homestead waiting for her husband and their father to return from a dangerous manhunt of horse thieves that plague their territory. These episodes aired prior to release of 1883 on Paramount Plus.



In February 2021, Taylor Sheridan signed a five-year deal with ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Group following the success of Yellowstone. Under the deal, he would create new series for both studios. One of these was Y: 1883, a prequel to Yellowstone, set to be broadcast on Paramount+. Sheridan said that he struggled with writer’s block after selling the concept to Paramount+, but he managed to overcome it while working on another series, Mayor of Kingstown.


The same night Isabel May auditioned for that show, Sheridan decided he needed her to make 1883 work. He went on to make Paramount hire May, a relative unknown, before he was even finished writing the script, because “it won’t work if we don’t get her.” On 04 August 2021, it was announced that Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Sam Elliott had joined the cast. A further announcement on 21 August confirmed both Isabel May and announced that LaMonica Garrett had joined the cast.

On 10 September, 06 December, and 10 December, respectively, it was confirmed that Billy Bob Thornton, Graham Greene, and Tom Hanks had joined as guest stars.


Filming on the series started in August 2021 in Texas and is expected to continue until January 2022 in Montana. Many actors expressed discomfort at the cold temperatures while filming in Montana. Star Faith Hill deemed filming as “the most physically and mentally challenging thing we have ever done.” Star Sam Elliott also expressed that filming his scenes was difficult, but “we’re getting it onscreen, and in the end that’s what matters. This is really going to be something special.”

Isabel May has alluded to Taylor Sheridan’s quest for “authenticity” concerning no cosmetics nor shaving of underarm hair. In Town & Country, May emphasized, “Taylor said from the very beginning, ‘I want everything to be authentic.’ I mean, women didn’t start shaving until the 1920s. He really wanted that to be an aspect of the show, and so I was more than happy to oblige.”


The series’ score was composed by Brian Tyler and Breton Vivian, both of whom worked on Yellowstone.


On 08 November 2021, a first-look trailer for the series was released; a full trailer was released on 03 December. The series made its TV premiere on 25 December 2021 on CMT. The first episode was run on Paramount Network, who ordered the show before they moved it to streaming on sister platform Paramount+ during its development, as part of promoting the show, like they did with Mayor of Kingstown.


  • They mention the “white elephant ” bar when in Fort worth, which still exists today.
  • The significance of the year 1883:
    • On 01 March 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act, which officially cemented Yellowstone as the world’s first national park.
    • Eleven years later, in 1883, construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad reached the north boundary of Yellowstone National Park.

1883 Series

Production & Filming Detail

  • Director(s):
    • Ben Richardson … (5 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Christina Alexandra Voros … (4 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Taylor Sheridan … (1 episode, 2021).
  • Producer(s):
    • Kyle Baugher … co-executive producer (10 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Michael Friedman … co-executive producer (10 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Beau J. Genot … associate producer (10 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Ben Richardson … co-executive producer (10 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Christina Alexandra Voros … co-executive producer (10 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Ron Burkle … executive producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • David Glasser … executive producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • Art Linson … executive producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • John Linson … executive producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • Rajeev Malhotra … co-producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • Taylor Sheridan … executive producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • Ken Topolsky … executive producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • Bob Yari … executive producer (3 episodes, 2021).
    • Mark Jarrett … produced by: Civil War sequences (1 episode, 2021).
    • David Hutkin … producer (unknown episodes).
  • Writer(s):
    • Taylor Sheridan (writer and creator).
  • Music:
    • Breton Vivian … (10 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Brian Tyler … (3 episodes, 2021).
  • Cinematography:
    • Christina Alexandra Voros … (4 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Ben Richardson … (2 episodes, 2021).
    • Mike Parry … (1 episode, 2022).
  • Editor(s):
    • Chad Galster … (6 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Nathan Gunn … (2 episodes, 2021-2022).
    • Brooke Rupe … (2 episodes, 2022).
    • Martin Nicholson … (1 episode, 2021).
    • John Coniglio … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Ryan Malanaphy … (1 episode, 2022).
    • Trevor Penna … (uncredited) (1 episode, 2021).
  • Production:
    • 101 Studios.
    • Bosque Ranch Productions.
    • CBS Entertainment.
    • MTV Entertainment Studios.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Paramount+ (2021) (USA) (video) (VOD).
  • Release Date:
    • Series 01: 19 December 2021 to 27 February 2022.
    • Series 02: ?
  • Rating: TV-MA.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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