David Oyelowo Says The Success Of ‘Yellowstone’ Has Helped Shows Like ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’

Lawmen Bass Reeves
Lauren Smith/Paramount+

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest installment in the Taylor Sheridan universe, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, then you’ve been seriously missing out.

The show is based on the first black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi, Bass Reeves, who is believed to be the inspiration behind the Lone Ranger. Lawmen: Bass Reeves just concluded its first season, leaving tons of fans hungry for more as we await to see if the show will get renewed for a second season.

It’s no secret that everything Taylor Sheridan has touched has turned to gold, and it all started with the initial success of Yellowstone. The show paved the way for prequel series like 1883 and 1923, and now Lawmen: Bass Reeves.

With that being said, David Oyelowo, who plays Reeves in the show, recently sat down for an interview with The Wrap, where he discussed how the success of Yellowstone has bled into other shows like Lawmen: Bass Reeves.

Oyelowo told the outlet:

“I mean, the amazing thing about what he has been able to build with ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘1883,’ ‘1923,’ that audience, the tone that he’s created, it laid the groundwork for a show like ‘Bass Reeves’ being able to exist because the idea of doing this show has been with me since the project was brought to me in 2014, and we went out with it in 2015. The entire industry – cable networks, studios, they all turned it down. Streaming didn’t even exist then.

That’s how long we’ve been trying to get this done. And then in 2017, they all turned it down again. First time around they said, ‘We’re not doing this because no one’s doing westerns.’ Second time around they said, ‘We’re not doing this because everyone’s doing westerns.’ When you hear that, you go, ‘Okay, there’s some funny business going on here.’

And then along comes Taylor Sheridan and this underserved audience who love westerns, who love the tone of what he’s doing, who love the fact that he’s looking at this place in America that you could argue had become ignored in contemporaneous TV and film.

And that gave us the platform, that gave us the foundation. Chad Feehan, to your point about the ‘Yellowstone’ universe, I was always very keen that it stood apart from that, and there is such appetite for that, that people were keen for it to be another offshoot.

But to me, that would be a diminishment of the fact that Bass was a real guy. And ‘Yellowstone,’ though, I’m sure based on some truth out there in terms of what goes on in that place, is not, that emanated from Taylor’s mind.

This needed to be different, but they shared DNA, especially with ‘1883.’ I remember seeing that and thinking, Whoa, now I have a very clear vision of what ‘Bass Reeves’ could be. I hadn’t seen anything like that from an episodic standpoint, from a scope and scale standpoint in recent history that was so in line with my personal vision and ambition for the show. And again, I would say he laid the groundwork for us to build upon.”

It’s great to see how the success of Yellowstone has helped with the success of other shows Sheridan and his crew have released. I just hope that Yellowstone will get the ending it deserves, now that we know the show will be coming to an end after the second half of season five.

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