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Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan opens up about decision to quit TV show

The actor-turned-writer is the brains behind the Western drama

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Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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Taylor Sheridan has become a household name across America as the brains behind the smash-hit Western drama Yellowstone.

MORE: Yellowstone bosses shares long-awaited season five update - as well as some disappointing news

However, fans may not be aware that the 52-year-old actually began his career as an actor starring in dramas including Walker, Texas Ranger, Veronica Mars and Sons of Anarchy. It was his time on the latter of these that inspired him to create Yellowstone, but not for the reason you might think.

WATCH: Are you looking forward to Yellowstone season five?

He played Deputy Chief David Hale on the US drama for two seasons before deciding to walk away, which resulted in his character being killed off in the dramatic season three premiere.

MORE: 7 shows to watch while you wait for Yellowstone season five

MORE: See the cast of Yellowstone and their real-life families

Speaking in a new interview, the actor-turned-writer reflected on his time on the show and the circumstances that caused him to rethink his career and begin writing for himself. He told Deadline that after asking for a raise, he was rebuffed by studio execs who were quick to remind him how far down on the call sheet he was.

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Taylor starred on Sons of Anarchy for two seasons before deciding to leave

"When my attorney said, 'Look, there are kids on the Cartoon Network making more than you're offering this guy,' this jerk business affairs attorney goes, 'He probably deserves to make more, but we're not going to pay him more, because guess what? He's not worth more. There are 50 of him. He is 11 on the call sheet. That's what that guy is and that's all he's ever going to be,'"

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Taylor has since found fame as the creator of Yellowstone and its spinoffs

He added: "That's really when I quit [because] that's how the business saw me: 'Let's replace him with someone cheaper.' And I decided that I didn't want to be 11 on the call sheet for the rest of my life."

MORE: Yellowstone: everything we know about season five so far

Shortly after, he handed in his resignation and made the move behind the camera. Before Yellowstone, he penned the critically acclaimed thrillers Sicario, Hell or High Water and Wind River.

The first season of Yellowstone debuted in 2018 and over the last four years, it has not only broken viewership records but has been named the most-watched television show on cable. It has spawned several spinoffs, including 1883 and the upcoming 1932m 1883: The Bass Reeves Story and 6666.

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