The Paramount Network — formerly known as SpikeTV — has just released the first images of its highly anticipated limited series Waco. The series will explore the story of David Koresh (Taylor Kitsch), the leader of a religious cult known as the Branch Davidians, who led a standoff against the ATF in the early 90s. The event then spiraled into an FBI raid that left over 70 people dead, and it became one of the most infamous incidents of the era.
Waco comes on the heels of several other TV projects examining major crimes of the 90s, including FX’s The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Discovery’s overlooked Manhunt: Unabomer, and NBC’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders. Like these other projects, Waco boasts an impressive cast, including Michael Shannon, John Leguizamo, Andrea Riseborough, Rory Culkin, Melissa Benoist, Paul Sparks, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim, and Julia Garner.
The series is set to launch in January 2018, and is written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, and directed by John Erick Dowdle. Check out full synopsis below, along with the rest of the new images:
In February, 1993, the eyes of the world converged on Mount Carmel, a small religious community located just outside Waco, TX. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) had just conducted a massive raid on David Koresh and his followers, known as the Branch Davidians. After what became the longest gun battle in U.S. law enforcement history, four ATF agents and six civilians were dead and dozens more were wounded. A 51-day standoff ensued, and the conflict ended after an FBI assault led to a fire that engulfed Mount Carmel, killing 76 men, women, and children.
What precipitated the ATF raid, and what transpired over the ensuing standoff, remains one of the most misunderstood stories in American history. Based on two biographies, A Place Called Waco, by Branch Davidian David Thibodeau, one of the nine survivors of the final fire on April 19, 1993, and Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, written by the FBI’s Head of Crisis Negotiation Unit Gary Noesner, the six-part scripted series “Waco” will forever change the way the dramatic siege will be viewed. A quarter century after this seminal moment in American history, Paramount Network will chronicle this true story told from several perspectives of those who were intimately involved.