Press release from Spike TV, Oct. 26, 2016:
Weinstein Television has teamed up with Spike TV for their highly anticipated event series “Waco,” starring Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch. Previously announced in August, the six-part event series is based on the harrowing true story of the 1993 FBI siege of a religious sect in Waco, Texas that resulted in the deadly shoot out and fire.
“Waco” will forever change the way the dramatic siege will be viewed. The landmark series will be the definitive untold story exploring the true life details leading up to and chronicling the 51- day siege between the FBI, AFT and David Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians. Told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved from both sides of the conflict, including surviving Branch Davidians which has never been shared on television before, is surprising in its stark contrast to the media narrative at the time and what is remembered of Waco almost 25 years later.
“Waco” will be written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (“No Escape”) and directed by John Erick Dowdle and will go into production next spring.
Shannon, (“Revolutionary Road,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Take Shelter”) a critically-acclaimed and Academy award(R)-nominated actor, will play lead FBI negotiator, Gary Noesner.
The role of the infamous cult leader, David Koresh, will be played by Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “John Carter,” “Lone Survivor”), one of Hollywood’s rising stars.
Shannon, Kitsch, and the Dowdle brothers will executive produce the series along with TWC 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.
“We’ve been working with our friend Kevin Kay at Spike for years. He has a rare gift for creating quality scripted television with commercial appeal and when he shared his vision for both the program and his goals for the network I knew we had found the perfect partner,” said Harvey Weinstein, TWC co-chairman. ” ‘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. We are looking forward to working with Sharon Levy and her team to bring this story to life.”
“We couldn’t think of a better home to bring ‘Waco’ to audiences than Spike TV,” said David Glasser, TWC President and COO. “They are great collaborators dedicated to groundbreaking content, and we are excited to share the riveting stories behind this harrowing event. We look forward to many more partnerships with them in the future.”
“With so many voices in television right now, it’s vital that we’ve found a team truly passionate about the material.” said TWC’s Megan Spanjian and Jennifer Malloy “From the Dowdles, who spent more than 3 years researching the true story and were able to bring Shannon and Kitsch into the fold. It’s a joy to be working with Spike on another series and we could not be more excited.”
“The dramatic events in Waco captivated the nation, and we are thrilled to partner with Weinstein Television and an all-star cast and production team to bring this incredible story to life,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike.
Levy, Ted Gold, Senior Vice President, Scripted Original Series, and Lauren Ruggiero, Vice President, Scripted Programming, will oversee the project for Spike.