The end of them. Yellowstone fans are unhappy with the show’s production problems, but an insider exclusively tells Us Weekly that the behind-the-scenes drama also caused tension between Kevin Costner and estranged wife Christine Baumgartner.
“Christine wasn’t happy with Yellowstone‘s schedule delays because it caused him to miss so much time with his family,” the source explains, calling it “one of the reasons” for the couple’s split.
The insider went on to say that the Field of Dreams actor, 68, was initially hesitant to sign on to Yellowstone because of how much it would take him away from his family. The cowboy drama films in Utah and Montana, while Costner lives in California with Baumgartner, 49, and their three children: Cayden, 16, and Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 12. (The Waterworld actor also shares daughters Annie, 39, and Lily, 36, and son Joe, 35, with ex-wife Cindy Silva and son Liam, 27, with ex Bridget Rooney.)
“He was on the fence about doing the show from the beginning. He had to be convinced to do the project,” the source tells Us. “There were months of discussions with Kevin and his family before he did it. He didn’t want do the show without their input.”
Baumgartner filed for divorce from the Oscar winner on May 1 after nearly 19 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the breakup and listing April 11 as their date of separation. The Dances With Wolves director filed his own paperwork one day later and also listed irreconcilable differences as the cause of the divorce. Costner’s filing noted that he and Baumgartner signed a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot in September 2004.
News of the couple’s split came amid turmoil on the set of Yellowstone, which wrapped up the first half of season 5 in January. The Paramount Network drama was supposed to return this summer with new episodes, but the second half of the season was pushed to November because of production delays.
According to the insider, those delays “led to a lot of problems” with Baumgartner, who was used to having her husband at home with their children. “Kevin’s team even asked about the possibility of moving the show to California so he could film certain scenes,” the source adds. “It’s been a discussion through the years, but it never worked out. Kevin has been making a lot of effort to make it work for his family.”
Earlier this year, rumors swirled that Costner was holding up production because he didn’t want to film for more than one week. His lawyer, however, slammed those reports. “The idea that Kevin was only willing to work one week on the second half of season 5 of Yellowstone is an absolute lie,” Marty Singer said in February. “It’s ridiculous — and anyone suggesting it shouldn’t be believed for one second. As everyone who knows anything about Kevin is well aware, he is incredibly passionate about the show and has always gone way above and beyond to ensure its success.”
Paramount, meanwhile, denied speculation that Yellowstone would be coming to an end, but earlier this month, the network confirmed that the flagship series will end with season 5. An untitled sequel series will debut one month after the series finale.
“Yellowstone has been the cornerstone on which we have launched an entire universe of global hits — from 1883 to Tulsa King, and I am confident our Yellowstone sequel will be another big hit, thanks to the brilliant creative mind of Taylor Sheridan and our incredible casts who bring these shows to life,” Chris McCarthy, president and CEO Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, said in a statement on Friday, May 5.
David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios, added in a statement of his own: “The Dutton story continues, picking up where Yellowstone leaves off in another epic tale. We are thrilled to bring this new journey to audiences around the world.”
The announcement came one month after Costner and Sheridan, 52, skipped a planned appearance at PaleyFest along with Yellowstone cast members Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Gil Birmingham, Wes Bentley, Kelsey Asbille and Jacki Weaver. Josh Lucas, Wendy Moniz, Mo Brings Plenty and Dawn Olivieri filled in for their costars, but press and attendees were only notified of the change minutes before the panel began.
“The ongoing issues between Kevin, who’s also an executive producer, and Taylor is what led to the last-minute cancelation,” an insider exclusively told Us in April, explaining the reason for the shakeup. “It’s been an ongoing power play between them.”
The source added that “Kevin didn’t want to come across as unauthentic and he would have if he was forced to dodge uncomfortable questions about their working relationship.”
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Reilly, for her part, later claimed her name never should have been on the schedule in the first place. “I was filming in the UK at the time, and let them know in January I wouldn’t be able to attend,” the Flight actress, 45, wrote via Instagram earlier this month. “I was sorry to hear my name was still on the list of attendees, as it is unfair to our fans.”