Earlier this year, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish announced he was renaming Spike TV and transforming it into the Paramount Network in an effort to switch up the network’s “strategic vision and framework” to adapt to an ever-changing television landscape. Now, Entertainment Weekly has reported that the first trailer for the six-part miniseries Waco has arrived, and it offers a promising look into what can be expected with the rebranded network’s future programming.
Waco follows the true story of the 1993 standoff in Waco, Texas between cult leader David Koresh and United States federal agents. The standoff lasted 51 days and resulted in 77 deaths, including David Koresh himself. The miniseries stars Taylor Kitsch (best known for his roles on Friday Night Lights and True Detective season 2) as David Koresh, Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Nocturnal Animals) as FBI negotiator Gary Noesner, and John Leguizamo (Bloodline, John Wick) as undercover agent Robert Rodriguez.
The trailer features an impressive and chilling performance by Kitsch, who typically plays troubled yet likable characters – something that’s not so true Waco. “The kingdom of heaven is coming,” he preaches to his followers in the trailer. “I promise you.”
In a recent interview, Kitsch delved into his process for taking on the character of Karesh and how education the experience was. “I learned a lot about myself as well through learning both sides and formulating an educated opinion on it,” the actor said. “The deeper I got into this, the more it unfolded of what exactly happened from the civil rights to the $50 warrant that they had, to the lack of jurisdiction – there are literally jaw-dropping things that happened… it’s genuinely hard to believe that this happened only 25 years ago.”
The miniseries is based off of biographies written by two men who were at Waco themselves. One is A Place Called Waco, written by a surviving follower of Koresh’s, and the other is called Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, written by Gary Noesner.
Waco premieres on the Paramount Network this January.