When does 1923 start and is the Yellowstone spin-off a sequel to 1883?

You might be wondering when does 1923 start as the new Yellowstone drama starring Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford draws closer...

When does 1923 start? We reveal what you need to know about the Yellowstone prequel starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren
(Image credit: James Minchin III/Paramount+)

When does 1923 start is the question that might be on Yellowstone fans’ minds as they prepare themselves for the rollercoaster of action and emotion that lies in store in the spin-off drama.

Since it first landed, Paramount’s neo-Western drama Yellowstone has made *quite* the impression on fans. And over the course of its five seasons so far, it’s also raised several questions - from whether the Yellowstone Ranch is real to why Jimmy left Yellowstone and the Dutton family behind in season 4. Season 5 is currently still airing with several plot threads left to be resolved but the success of the show has led to several spin-offs including the 1923 Yellowstone prequel. Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford teamed up for this exciting project and as the premiere edges closer fans might have a few questions about this drama too. 

But when does 1923 start, how can you watch it and is this Yellowstone prequel also a sequel to 1883? We reveal what you need to know…

*Warning: Spoilers ahead!* 

Harrison Ford in 1923

(Image credit: James Minchin III/Paramount+)

When does 1923 start? 

If you can’t get enough of the Dutton family’s drama in Yellowstone season 5 (and let’s face it there’s been plenty of that in the six episodes that have aired so far) then prepare yourself because Sunday, December 18 is when 1923 starts for US and Canada-based viewers. This is the same day that the seventh episode of Yellowstone season 5 is released at 8pm ET, meaning twice the amount of Yellowstone-related content to enjoy. For any viewers in the UK and Australia wondering - when does 1923 start? - then you’ll have to wait until December 19 to be able to stream 1923. 

How to watch the 1923 Yellowstone prequel 

When it comes to how to watch the 1923 Yellowstone prequel then it’ll come as no surprise to Yellowstone fans that Paramount+ is where to head. Viewers with a Paramount+ subscription already will be able to enjoy watching Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren’s debut in 1923 as soon as it lands on the platform. 

If you’ve yet to try out Paramount+ subscription plans (opens in new tab) then their Essential Plan costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year and means limited interruptions from adverts. A premium plan that means you can watch your favorite shows minus the ads costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.  

Helen Mirren in 1923

(Image credit: James Minchin III/Paramount+)

Meanwhile, any Sky TV customers in the UK who want to watch the 1923 Yellowstone prequel can enjoy the series via Paramount+ if they have a Sky Cinema subscription. But this isn’t the only way UK viewers can see 1923 as you can also subscribe directly to Paramount+ as a cost of £6.99 per month or £69.99 a year. And if you’d rather try out what Paramount+ has to offer before taking the plunge then they also offer a 7 day free trial when you sign up which you can cancel at any time. 

Now you know how to watch the 1923 Yellowstone prequel, there's still lots of time to pick up your favorite festive snacks and locate your best electric blankets ready to snuggle up and watch the spin-off drama’s premiere on December 18. 

Is the 1923 Yellowstone spin-off a sequel to 1883? 

Given there are so many spin-offs to Yellowstone that have been announced, never mind shows like Yellowstone to keep fans entertained, some people might be wondering how 1923 fits into the wider Yellowstone universe. More specifically, fans could find themselves questioning if 1923 is a sequel to 1883 which starred Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The answer is yes, 1923 is a sequel to 1883 and a prequel to the main Yellowstone series. 

Fans were introduced to the origins of the Dutton family in 1883 and how the current family’s ancestors James and Margaret Dutton moved from Tennessee and settled in Montana where the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch was established. 

The time period of this show is - you guessed it - 1883 and so it’s set hundreds of years before Yellowstone season 1. But there’s only 40 years between 1883 and 1923’s time periods, meaning that the new Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren drama is quite a direct sequel. The Dutton family patriarch, Jacob, played by Harrison is the brother of James Dutton from 1883. James’ sons John Dutton Sr and Spencer Dutton are major characters in 1923 and John even has his own son Jack with wife Emma. 

John Dutton Sr was just five years old when 1883 began and he is the great-grandfather of John Dutton III - the family patriarch of the time Yellowstone is set, played by Kevin Costner.

Harrison Ford in 1923

(Image credit: James Minchin III/Paramount+)

1923 will focus on the decades after James and Margaret made Montana their home as Jacob and Cara continue the family’s legacy. The show will take viewers along an intense journey through changing times which saw the likes of Prohibition, Western Expansion and Montana’s Great Depression affect daily life.  

These hardships faced by Jacob, Cara and their family is something Harrison Ford has explained to Collider (opens in new tab) as he revealed how much he feels is resting on his character’s shoulders. 

He said, “The pressures are intense. They're in the midst of a drought. The Depression is nearing. The economic support is crumbling. Loans are not easy to come by for cattle. There's competition for the grass from sheepmen. There's the pressures on the land itself from extractive industries, and it's a complicated time."Perceptyx

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"A lot of those complications and pressures come to rest on Jacob Dutton's shoulders, and the way he deals with them is distinct," he continued. 

Asked about what qualities have enabled Jacob Dutton to succeed at creating a family ranch empire where his brother James failed in 1883, Harrison shared how he believes there’s an important trait shared by the two lead characters.

“I can't conceive of Tim McGraw's character [James] as having failed,” Harrison declared. “I would say that the circumstances overwhelmed him, but it's not a flaw of his character. The same Dutton steel is in Jacob that there was in the character Tim played.”

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So it seems that not only is 1923 a sequel to 1883, but the characters are strongly linked and there might even be call-backs or details familiar to 1883 fans given that the protagonists of both shows are brothers. Either way, now fans have the answer to the ultimate question - when does 1923 start? - they can enjoy re-watching their favorite Yellowstone and 1883 moments ready for the new drama's premiere.   

The Yellowstone 1923 prequel premieres on December 18 in US and Canada and December 19 in UK and Australia.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.