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The History Of Taylor Sheridan’s Purchase Of The ‘6666’ Ranch Should Prove Encouraging For Those Waiting On A Certain ‘Yellowstone’ Spinoff

Taylor Sheridan’s vast assembling of Paramount shows includes several existing and in-development shows that aren’t directly related to Yellowstone. However, that franchise reigns supreme and shall remain near and dear to the former Sons of Anarchy cop and Oscar-nominated screenwriter’s followers. As such, the TV world currently awaits word about whether the Yellowstone flagship show will truly see the exit of Kevin Costner from the franchise.

If that ever happens, viewers can take comfort in a steady supply of offshoots that does not appear to be ending anytime soon. 1883 came and went and starred Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Billy Bob Thornton. 1923 remains ongoing and stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. There’s reportedly a Matthew McConaughey role in development, although no one knows if that applies to a freestanding show or another one already in existence. And then there’s the upcoming 6666, which (to outsiders) might sound like something demonic is involved.

A haunted ranch? No, that’s not the case. The in-development show’s title directly refers to a real-life, legendary ranch — 6666 or the Four Sixes — in West Texas. The title also makes a direct reference to a Yellowstone Season 5 episode, in which John Dutton’s daughter, Beth, decided to “to start selling Yellowstone-branded beef” after being inspired by the 6666 ranch. Presumably, the spinoff would take place at the ranch and follow any soap operatics involved. What’s particularly interesting, though, is that Sheridan walks the walk so much that he actually owns this ranch.

At least, that’s the case since mid 2021, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram initially reported, when Sheridan managed to pony up at least $320 million for the historic swath of land that is twice as big as Chicago and “legendary” in ranching circles after being founded in 1879 by Samuel “Burk” Burnett. A few years following the sale, the Four Sixes General Manager, Jim Leathers (yes, that’s his actual name), is now speaking up about how the sale went down. The Abilene Reporter-News relays Leather’s speech at the recent Agriculture Legacy Luncheon, in which he referred to “Taylor Sheridan and the ‘Yellowstone’ bunch” while admitting that he hadn’t heard of Sheridan ahead of his interest to buy.

Given that Sheridan wanted the Yellowstone franchise to start filming at Four Sixes, Leathers initially decided that he wasn’t interested. Then Sheridan, who was the sixth prospective buyer after the first five didn’t work out, took a three-day tour of Four Sixes, and he won Leathers over, but it wasn’t easy:

“He came, and I told him that I could see a whole lot more downside than upside, Why would I jeopardize the reputation of the ranch just to be on TV?” Leathers got up and walked out.

“Lo and behold, I work for the guy now,” Leathers said, to laughter. “I have not seen a show of ‘Yellowstone’ to this day.”

Sheridan apparently was able to cobble up enough investors to help him pull together the additional $300,000 million that he needed to purchase Four Sixes, and with all of that capital involved, one can bet that there are big Yellowstone plans for the ranch in addition to utility. 1883 filmed on the premises, and with a freaking title like 6666, it’s safe to assume that this series will go down in its natural habitat, too.

Heck, with all of the overarching significance involved with such a pricey ranch investment, 6666 should prove to be a major part of the overarching Sheridan universe of shows. And although Leathers claims to have never watched Yellowstone or its offshoots, he does acknowledge that the show isn’t “accurate” to ranching life, but Sheridan “put enough sugar on the cookie for people to watch it.” And the rest, as they say, is pop culture history.

(Via Abilene Reporter-News, Texas Monthly & Southern Living)