Viacom’s Spike TV will air “Waco,” a six-part miniseries from Weinstein Television based on the true story of the 1993 FBI siege of a religious sect in Waco, Texas that resulted in a deadly shootout and fire.
“Waco” will be written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, and directed by John Erick Dowdle and will go into production next spring. The scripted series will explore the true life details of a 51- day siege between U.S. government officials and David Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians. The story will include perspective from people on both sides of the conflict, including surviving Branch Davidians – who have provided detail that stands in what producers said was “stark contrast to the media narrative at the time and what is remembered of Waco almost 25 years later.”
Michael Shannon will play lead FBI negotiator, Gary Noesner. Taylor Kitsch will play cult leader David Koresh. Shannon, Kitsch, and the Dowdle brothers will executive produce the series along with Weinstein Company Co-Chairmen Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein, President and COO David Glasser, Co-head of Production Jennifer Malloy, and Head of Scripted Television Megan Spanjian of Weinstein Television.
The series is 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 Special Agent in Charge of Negotiations Gary Noesner.
“‘Waco’ is a provocative series where the drama and excitement are amplified by the truth and the history surrounding the event, along with a cast of amazing actors including the incredible Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch,” said Harvey Weinstein, TWC co-chairman, in a prepared statement. “We are looking forward to working with Sharon Levy and her team to bring this story to life.”
Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike.Ted Gold, Senior Vice President, Scripted Original Series, and Lauren Ruggiero, Vice President, Scripted Programming, will oversee the project for Spike.
(Pictured, above: Michael Shannon, left, and Taylor Kitsch)