‘Yellowstone’ Cast Salaries: Kevin Costner and Other Stars of Hit Western Series Rope in the Big Bucks
It pays big money to be part of the Dutton family! The stars of the Paramount Network’s massive hit Yellowstone bring home some impressive salaries to go along with the show’s success. Even before it became cable’s top-rated show, Kevin Costner, who plays patriarch John Dutton, became one of the highest paid TV stars per episode simply for signing on to the series.
Kevin makes at least $500,000 per episode of Yellowstone. It was his first foray into work on the small screen for the Oscar-winning director and movie star. His salary showed what a valuable draw he was for the Paramount Network, which launched in 2016 after rebranding from the former Spike TV.
The network’s head Kevin Kay said that Costner’s $500,000 per episode was justified even when Yellowstone hadn’t even aired yet. He told the Hollywood Reporter in an October 2017 interview, “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. It sends a message and that’s what we want to do.” Costner also receives an executive producer credit on the show.
The January 2, 2022, season 4 finale for Yellowstone brought in a whopping 9.3 million viewers, putting it on par with HBO’s Game of Thrones at the height of that show’s popularity. While Kevin’s current paycheck hasn’t been revealed, it’s likely he’s been given handsome boosts in income for helping lead the show’s success.
Kevin’s costars have shared in the show’s triumph by way of their enviable per episode salaries. Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton), Wes Bentley (Jamie Dutton), Kelsey Asbille (Monica Dutton) and Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler) are estimated to make around $200,000 per episode of Yellowstone, per Cinema Blend. That adds up to a sweet $2 million per season for the show’s 10 episodes.
Yellowstone was envisioned as a limited series with a 10 episode run before growing into the ratings juggernaut that it is today. That was one of the things that initially sold Kevin on taking part, though he’s thrilled with how beloved the show has become. He told Deadline in February 2022, “I couldn’t have predicted its popularity, or looked five years ahead, but I’m never surprised at what quality can turn into. Being popular and really good doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. And so, I’m pleasantly surprised.”