The Yellowstone universe, which I would love to start dubbing "the Yellowverse," expanded in a very big way this week, with Taylor Sheridan's upcoming prequel spinoff 1883 casting its first stars. The brilliant additions include music icons (and Game of Thrones fans) Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, along with the Oscar-nominated Big Lebowski and A Star Is Born fave Sam Elliott. Yellowstone star Kevin Costner reached out on social media with a solid welcome for both McGraw and Hill, who will be portraying his fictional ancestors when 1883 arrives.

With roles in mainstream films such as The Blind Side and Tomorrowland, Tim McGraw has been putting out best-selling country music albums since his self-titled debut in 1993, and has won 3 Grammy Awards to date, out of 20 nominations. But his placement in the Yellowstone prequel is 100% his biggest TV role to date, and given how the flagship series is basically the biggest show on cable at this point, it'll be a challenge to bring James Dutton to life in a way that stands tall next to Kevin Costner's weathered but determined portrayal. So it's a good thing he already received Costner's blessing after sharing the below Instagram post celebrating the 1883 casting news.

Under that video, Kevin Costner shared a welcoming message that Tim McGraw responded to just as kindly, and even with an awkwardly inserted family reference.

Considering Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have three daughters together, it's certainly possible that they'll one day have a great-grandson in real life that can be compared to Kevin Costner and John Dutton. But I'm sure they don't want to think about that kind of scenario ju-u-u-ust yet, since they're still in the prime of their lives and careers.

Very similar to her husband, Faith Hill's career took off after the release of her first album in 1993, though she's had better Grammy success, winning 5 awards out of 17 total nominations to date. As well, she'll also be taking on her biggest TV role in playing Margaret Dutton in Yellowstone's 1883 prequel. Understandably, she was also pumped for her announcement video, which inspired its own warm welcome from Kevin Costner.

To the superstar that will portray his great-grandmother, Kevin Costner said this:

Welcome to the ranch.

As someone who's never been invited into anything by Kevin Costner, I can only assume it feels awesome to receive such a message. Of course, welcoming new stars into the Yellowstone franchise doesn't necessarily guarantee that Costner's John Dutton is going to survive the potentially fatal injuries he suffered at the end of Season 3. In fact, coupled with the first look video that reveals his initial survival in Season 4, Costner's messages to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill could be a distraction meant to throw fans off the scent. I mean, we know somebody is definitely dying in Season 4, and it probably won't be limited to just one victim, so here's hoping Cole Hauser's Rip can once again help ward off deadly villains throughout the ten episodes, and obviously without dying himself.

With Yellowstone's 1883 prequel now in the casting phase, one can only hope that filming will begin at some point in the coming months. It's still unclear when the new series could debut on Paramount+, as far as how closely the streaming service will slot it around the original series' linear run on Paramount Network. While waiting to hear more about that and the companion spinoff 6666, be sure to keep track of all the awesome 2021 Fall TV shows hitting the small screen soon.

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