'Yellowstone' drama: Kevin Costner, Taylor Sheridan, key cast miss PaleyFest event and fans are ripped

LOS ANGELES — "Yellowstone" star Kevin Costner and show creator Taylor Sheridan lead the high-profile surprise no-shows at a sold-out "Yellowstone" PaleyFest fan event Saturday night.

Shocked fans who had bought tickets to the Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre groaned audibly and even booed when the main "Yellowstone" stars, scheduled to appear, failed to show up on the stage to discuss the suddenly drama-filled Paramount Network TV drama.

Along with Costner (who plays patriarch John Dutton) and Sheridan, "Yellowstone" stars Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton), Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler), Luke Grimes (Kayce Dutton), Wes Bentley (Jamie Dutton) and Gil Birmingham (Thomas Rainwater) were some of the key cast names still listed on the Paleyfest 2023 festival ticket website for the April 1 (April Fools' Day) event. Not one showed.

Instead, the new lineup brought onto the stage included executive Keith Cox, a president at the Paramount Network, actors Mo Brings Plenty (Mo), Dawn Olivieri (Sarah Atwood), Josh Lucas (who plays younger John Dutton. seen in flashbacks) and Wendy Moniz (Lynelle Perry).

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Season 5 of "Yellowstone."
Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Season 5 of "Yellowstone."

Beyond an anticipated fan event, the PaleyFest meeting promised to be the first opportunity to discuss reports that Costner might be leaving "Yellowstone," following a February report which also suggested the global hit series could end "in spectacular fashion." Alas, only more fuel was tossed on the campfire with the mass cast no-shows.

"Yellowstone" aired its season 5 midseason finale Jan. 1 and is set to return for the second half this summer.

Cox addressed the elephant in the room during the PaleyFest session, saying he was "very confident" that "the star, the face of our show" will "continue with the show." Even the half-baked comment about the return of Costner brought out enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Cox added that the start of "Yellowstone" production would be announced "soon" promising the remaining season 5 episodes "will be phenomenal, I am confident." It might have been more believable coming from conniving "Yellowstone" lawyer Jamie Dutton. 

Frustrated audience members exited the Dolby Theatre in seat-popping droves during the Q&A discussion. In the lobby, fans wearing cowboy hats and Beth Dutton T-shirts politely signed forms to request a refund from the event where even nosebleed tickets cost $85.

Beth Dutton would have been breaking stuff. Just saying.

"I'm extremely disappointed," Los Angeles "Yellowstone" fan Jonathan Gucinski told USA TODAY. "It was supposed to be a celebratory event, but it turned into a joke. That wasn't who I expected to see on the stage tonight."

Another fan tweeted: "No slight to the actors who were there, but @paleycenter should offer refunds for the @Yellowstone program tonight. Not a single person, not one, who was listed to be there was actually there."

And one fan tweeted: "They knew and still showed an old episode and didn't give the audience a heads up. They could've told people. Waste of money and time. Do better @tylersheridan."

PaleyFest officials had no comment official over why Paramount Networks and "Yellowstone" failed to bring the promised cast and crew to the fan event. cited "scheduling conflicts" as the reason.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Yellowstone' fan drama: Kevin Costner, Taylor Sheridan miss PaleyFest