Quick question: How do you make a sequel to a ripped-from-the-headlines true crime-inspired drama series? According to Paramount+ and the people behind the Paramount Network’s Waco series, you just bring back whoever survived and turn it into a legal drama. According to Deadline, Waco showrunners John Erick and Drew Dowdle are reuniting for American Tragedies: Waco—The Trials, a follow-up series about the “wide-ranging fallout” from the government’s raid on Branch Davidian leader David Koresh’s compound in Waco, Texas in 1993—as seen in the aforementioned Waco series starring Taylor Kitsch and Michael Shannon (with Shannon also serving as an executive producer on this).
Taylor Kitsch’s character, you know, died, but at least one person from the original show will appear in this sequel series, with John Lequizamo reprising his role as Jacob Vasquez, an undercover ATF agent who investigated Koresh and his followers. He’ll be joined by J. Smith Cameron from Succession, who is playing Lois Roden, the former head of the Branch Davidians who died in the ‘80s (it’ll make sense in a second). David Costabile from Billions will be there as the judge presiding over the trial of the surviving Branch Davidians, Giovanni Ribisi will play their lawyer, and Euphoria’s Keean Johnson will play young Vernon Howell, a.k.a. David Koresh himself (meaning there will be some kind of flashback use). John Hoogenakker and Abbey Lee will also be there.
In a morbid tie-in, but that’s par for the course when we’re dealing with a ripped-from-the-headlines true crime-inspired drama series, Deadline says the new show is set to premiere on Paramount+ in 2023 “to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the tragic events in Texas.” Apparently the 30th anniversary is the “second drama series based on the deaths of nearly 100 people anniversary” and not the “pearl anniversary.” Husbands and wives: Write that down.