May 16 (UPI) -- Kevin Costner is to lead the cast of Yellowstone, the first, scripted series green-lit for the soon-to-launch Paramount Network, which is replacing Spike TV.
"Costner stars as John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders -- land developers, an Indian reservation, and America's first National Park," a press release explained. "It is an intense study of a violent world far from media scrutiny -- where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world's largest oil and lumber corporations. Where drinking water poisoned by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news: they are a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of America seen through the eyes of a family that represents both."
Taylor Sheridan wrote and will direct the 10-episode project, which is to debut in summer 2018. Production is set to begin this fall.
"Our goal is to bring premium, cinematic storytelling to television. With an icon such as Kevin Costner in front of the camera, and the renowned Taylor Sheridan behind the camera, we are off to a great start," Keith Cox, president of development and production at Paramount Network and TV Land, said in a statement Monday.
"Taylor Sheridan wrote a giant of a character in lead John Dutton," added The Weinstein Co. Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein. "There was only one actor who could be transformational -- Kevin Costner. This is a coup for the show and fulfills a joint promise that Kevin and I made -- that we would find a mutual project to work on."
Costner was recently seen in the Best Picture Oscar nominee Hidden Figures. His other film credits include The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, JFK, Dances with Wolves and The Bodyguard.