Kevin Costner has confirmed that he will not be returning to Yellowstone for its upcoming final episodes, and fans are upset with the news.

The Oscar-winning actor and director turned to social media on Thursday (June 20) to reveal that after the very public back-and-forth that he's engaged in with the show's producers over the last year-plus, he will not return for the second half of Yellowstone Season 5, which is set to premiere in November.

Costner says that although he loves the series, "I just realized that I'm not going to be able to continue Season 5 B or into the future."

"It was something that really changed me. I loved it," he states in a video message to his fans. "And I know you loved it. I just wanted to let you know that I won't be returning."

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The first half of Yellowstone Season 5 aired in late 2022, but the second half got delayed for more than a year due to scheduling conflicts with series creator Taylor Sheridan's long roster of other shows, as well as the strikes in Hollywood.

Costner 's scheduling conflict was due to his work on an ambitious four-part epic titled Horizon: An American Saga. He revealed that he was no longer under contract to Yellowstone in 2023, and Sheridan later said in an interview that he was working around Costner's absence.

However, a potential lawsuit Costner alluded to over his pay-or-play deal for future seasons never materialized, and Costner said repeatedly that he'd still like to work things out, leading to online speculation that he might still return to wrap the show.

Fans online were upset with the news that Costner will not be back, but most of them voiced support for the actor and his upcoming film series.

"Bummer. You were a great part of Yellowstone, and won’t be the same (or last for much longer) without you in it," one fan writes.

"I’m actually more excited about Horizon," another X user adds. "Thank you for giving your fans a heads up."

Others were more succinct.

"Sheridan sucks. Can’t wait for Horizon!" a fan writes on X, while another simply states, "Totally blows."

Costner's announcement came on the same day that Yellowstone revealed the premiere date for its final episodes. Yellowstone will premiere on Paramount on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 8PM ET, and the new episodes will bring the series to an end.

Sterling Whitaker is a Senior Writer and Senior Editor for Taste of Country. He focuses on celebrity real estate, as well as coverage of Yellowstone and related shows like 1883 and 1923. He's interviewed cast members including Cole Hauser, Kelly Reilly, Sam Elliott and Harrison Ford, and Whitaker is also known for his in-depth interviews with country legends including Don Henley, Rodney Crowell, Trace Adkins, Ronnie Milsap, Ricky Skaggs and more.

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