One of the most-watched cable TV shows in 2020 is a drama called "Yellowstone." The story about a cattle ranching family stars Kevin Costner and has a Texas connection.
It's co-created and produced by a guy from North Texas. He and his team were in the area recently to film some scenes. For the locals who took part, it was, without doubt, something good.
"I couldn't believe it was actually happening," said Mary Anderson, owner of Mary's Brazos Cafe in Parker County.
Anderson has owned the restuarant in Tin Top for 29 years. While it's seen it's share of media coverage, nothing has been as big as what happened two weeks ago and had the town buzzing.
"The street on the other side was lined up with my customers watching and trying to see what was going on. It was awesome," Anderson said about the day "Yellowstone" came to town.
"We cooked cheeseburgers, catfish, chicken fried steaks, a lot catfish. We had to keep cooking because they had to redo and redo and redo, and one of the cowboys said, "I don't know if I can eat anymore," Anderson said.
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"I chose Mary's because that's where we have breakfast when I'm here,' said Taylor Sheridan, a Texas native, Fort Worth ISD graduate, Bosque County ranch owner, Mary's customer and creator of the smash show, "Yellowstone."
"I spent a lot of time at horse shows and rodeo and whatnot, so I was kinda raised at Will rogers and obviously the Stockyards; everyone's gone there. I didn't discover Mary's until a few years ago, at least Mary's down here on the Brazos and sure like her and her place," Sheridan said.
"And he came up. I asked, Where's the man who writes this stuff?' He pulled his mask down and I said, 'Uh! I take your money all the time', and he said, 'That's me,'" Anderson said.
In a conversation with NBC 5, Sheridan wouldn't reveal details about the scene being filmed at Mary's, but the restaurant's name will stay. However, t-shirts worn by servers will say Padacuh not Tin Top. Paducah is in the Panhandle.
"I couldn't believe they put Mary's Brazos Cafe on the shirts. I'm not in Padacuh, of course. Everybody's gonna be looking for me in Padacuh," Anderson said.
When asked if he could talk about it, Sheridan's answer? "Nope. I sure can't," he said. "We were filming some scenes. I can't really tell you what we were filming because that will spoil next season, and I don't want to do that but yeah, we were filming in Weatherford and the Stockyards. We filmed at Will Rogers."
That shoot the next day in the John Justin Arena in the Will Rogers Memorial Complex in Fort Worth brought challenges. The Open Hackamore finals at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity was going on with real-life cowboys and cowgirls competing for a paycheck.
"One of my set guys put up a banner on the cattle gate which had a real negative effect on some of those horses which craeted a real quandry we had to try and figure out because I'm there to do a job but so are the people showing, right? That's their job. If something we do negatively effects their performing and their horse performing, then that's a situation we need to fix," Sheridan said. "We all got together and said, how do we fix this? And there really wasn't a solution that made any sense from a competitive standpoint, and i finally decided the only thing to do was to pay everybody first place money."
It added up to 19 checks at $13,000 a piece for total approaching a quarter million dollars. A small price to pay perhaps for the chance to showcase home.
"It's a lot of fun and a lot of responsibility. You really want to showcase that area, and i'm so proud, as everyone from Fort Worth is," Sheridan said. "Yellowstone is a unique show. It's a western but it's also about the lifestyle of cowboys and ranching that way of life, and you really can't explore that fully unless you come to the place where cowboy was invented, and that's Texas."
Yellowstone airs on the Paramount Network, and the fourth season with the scenes in Texas starts June 2021. If you won't get in on it, it's on Peacock, the streaming service owned by the company that owns NBC5. Season three starts Nov. 22.