‘True Detective’ creator Nic Pizzolatto is making a ‘Yellowstone’-esque Western for Amazon

Everybody wants their own “Yellowstone,” and the folks at Amazon are turning to a big name for theirs. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon has tapped “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto to develop a Western drama series for the Prime Video streaming service that sources describe as the streamer’s answer to Taylor Sheridan’s megahit “Yellowstone” franchise. 

The as-yet-untitled series is described as an ensemble Western about “a former outlaw who must reckon with a threat from his past in order to keep the life and family he has worked so hard to build. He sets out on an epic journey that unites a formidable gang of indelible figures to face an even greater danger, in an epic saga of adventure and romance that forces this former criminal to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.” 

Pizzolatto made a name for himself with the first season of the anthology series “True Detective” in 2014, an influential season that earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Since then, his career has had ups and downs, with “True Detective” getting a poorly received second season in 2015 and a better-regarded third season in 2019. (Pizzolato has no creative involvement in Season 4, which is coming to HBO later this year.) He signed an overall deal with FX in 2020 and exited it early the following year after the collapse of “Redeemer,” a series he was writing for Matthew McConaughey. The Amazon project will be his first TV series since “True Detective.” “Breaking Bad” and “Interview with the Vampire” executive producer Mark Johnson is also on board as an EP. 

He has some previous experience in the Western genre. He contributed to the script for HBO’s “Deadwood: The Movie,” which came out in 2019. And he’s passionate and knowledgeable about the genre, as evidenced by his memorable 2020 appearance on the podcast “Bonanas for Bonanza,” a show about the classic Western series that ran from 1959 to 1973.

This will be Amazon’s second ongoing Western series, following the Josh Brolin-led sci-fi hybrid “Outer Range,” which starts with a “Yellowstone”-esque premise about a Wyoming rancher trying to fight off threats to his land before going off in unpredictable directions.  

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