Kevin Costner, Taylor Sheridan & ‘Yellowstone’ Leading Cast Drop Out Of PaleyFest In No April Fool’s Joke

It was no April Fool’s joke: Yellowstone fans who were expecting to hear from Taylor Sheridan and his drama’s biggest stars were no-shows at PaleyFest in Los Angeles Saturday.

When the panel was first announced, fans were promised a starry lineup that included all the main cast members like Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Betley, Gil Birmingham and Jacki Weaver. It was also promising that executive producers Taylor Sheridan and David Glasser would be on hand, along with “additional guests to be announced.”

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However, when the time came to celebrate Yellowstone at the Dolby Theatre Saturday night, the lineup drastically changed, despite the website still showing all the stars and EPs earlier in the day.

After screening episode 507 titled “The Dream Is Not Me,” fans were then told by a PaleyFest rep that the panel lineup had changed because of “scheduling conflicts.” The new lineup was made up of Keith Cox, President of Scripted at MTV Entertainment Studios, and actors Mo Brings Plenty (Mo), Dawn Olivieri (Sarah Atwood), Josh Lucas (younger John Dutton) and Wendy Moniz (Lynelle Perry).

There were audible gasps from audience members when they learned of the changes. Some yelled “where are they?” during the panel that was moderated by Deadline’s Lynette Rice, but there was joyous applause for the actors who were present. Lucas, in particular, charmed the crowd by criticizing those who try to reduce Yellowstone to being a red state drama. It’s about a family and love, he said.

The absence of Costner and co-creator Sheridan comes at a particular contentious time on the hit show. In February, Deadline reported that Sheridan and Paramount were working on taking Yellowstone into a new direction without Costner and bringing Matthew McConaughey on board. The brouhaha involved Costner’s shooting schedule and how much time — or how little – he wanted to spend on set.

At least Cox had an update on that during Saturday’s panel. When asked about the status of talks with Costner, Cox referred to him as “our star, the face of our show, and the executive producer” before saying “we are very confident he will continue with the show.”

The room erupted in applause.

Cox then said an announcement about when production will resume is coming “soon” before adding that the coming episodes, “will be phenomenal. I am confident.”

In January, Costner won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of John Dutton but didn’t attend the ceremony due to the severe weather. When the actor received his trophy in the mail weeks later, he taped a video for Instagram that didn’t acknowledge the Paramount drama or anyone involved with the production.

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