Taylor Sheridan‘s 101 Studios has announced another Modern Western in the pipeline, American Tragedy: The Waco Trials, alongside a synopsis.
On Wednesday, 101 Studios presented their upcoming slate at Paramount Upfront, the studio’s showcase for their produced series and miniseries. Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan and his “universe” of shows were at the forefront. Several projects received announcements, updates, synopses, and more in a star-studded evening.
One of Sheridan’s biggest reveals came in the New Series and Miniseries category for Paramount Network: American Tragedy: The Waco Trials, a new Western from Sheridan and 101 Studios.
According to the studio, the series “Explores the wide-ranging fallout succeeding the tragic events that took place in Waco, TX, and the uneven scales of justice the surviving Branch Davidians faced.”
It’s a rather barebones announcement outside of this synopsis. The title (which 101 Studios was sure to clarify is a working title), however, eludes to a remarkable chunk of Texas history.
‘American Tragedy: The Waco Trials’ Set to Be Another Historical Adaptation from ‘Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan
While his Yellowstone prequels are looking much further back, American Tragedy hits on Waco’s horrific Branch Davidians tragedy that took place between February 28 and April 19, 1993.
Also known as The Waco Siege, or Waco Massacre, the event saw law enforcement siege the compound belonging to religious sect Branch Davidians in the small community of Axtell, Texas – a dozen miles northeast of Waco.
Led by David Koresh and based at the Mount Carmel Center, the Brand Davidians were suspected of stockpiling illegal weapons. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) would obtain a search warrant for the religious compound alongside Koresh’s arrest.
Once on site, ATF would attempt to serve their search and arrest warrants, leading to a deadly gunfight. Four government agents and six Branch Davidians died. But the worse was yet to come.
The siege ended up lasting an unimaginable 51 days, with the FBI and U.S. Military both becoming involved. Eventually, the FBI would launch an assault with tear gas to force the remaining Brach Davidians out of their ranch. And when they did, the entirety of Mount Carmel Center caught fire, erupting into engulfing flames.
In total, 76 Branch Davidians were murdered in this fire. 25 children, two pregnant women, and David Koresh himself would perish.
By 101 Studios’ synopsis for American Tragedy: The Waco Trials, Sheridan’s show will focus on the aftermath. How these horrific events shaped the lives of survivors will form the backbone of the Modern Western.
With Sheridan’s own Texas heritage in mind, American Tragedy is sure to make an impact on viewers. No further release details are public at this time. But as always, Outsider will keep you updated.