GUYANA TRAGEDY: THE STORY OF JIM JONES; Big Love; Waco; The Source Family (CBS Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection; HBO; Paramount Network; Independent Pictures)

Cults on TV by Tomatometer

In one of the first TV portrayals of dangerous cult influence, 1980 miniseries Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones told the disturbing story of a leader who prompted 913 people to commit mass suicide in South America. Powers Boothe won an Emmy for his portrayal of Jones.

This week, Taylor Kitsch debuted as David Koresh in the six-part Paramount Network miniseries about the 51-day 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF, and members of the Branch Davidian sect. The clash, in which 76 people died, began because the group was suspected of weapons violations and escalated into a deadly fire at the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

Where does Waco stand among its cults-on-TV brethren? The following 11 dramatic series and documentaries tell tales of charismatic people and controversial spiritual movements.

Adjusted Score: 97.936%
Critics Consensus: Thoroughly disquieting but impossible to ignore, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a searing investigative work from a master documentarian.
Synopsis: Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear profiles... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney

Big Love (2006)

Synopsis: The complicated life of Bill Henrickson, a Utah businessman who also happens to be a polygamist with three wives and... [More]

The Path (2016)

Synopsis: A family struggles with relationships, marriage and power during a controversial religious movement in this drama series.... [More]

Synopsis: Controversies surrounding the church of Scientology are explored.... [More]

Adjusted Score: 73.306%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's 1971 and communes and new religions are on the rise. The Source Family are an "Aquarian tribe," a secretive... [More]

Adjusted Score: 75.47%
Critics Consensus: American Horror Story: Cult intrigues with timely, over-the-top creepiness - and lots of clowns - despite being hampered by broad political generalizations and occasional holes in the narrative's logic.
Synopsis: Season 7 of the FX horror anthology. ... [More]

Waco (2018)

Synopsis: The untold story exploring the true life details leading up to and chronicling the 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF... [More]

Aquarius (2015)

Synopsis: A police sergeant in the 1960s tries to hunt down cult leader Charles Manson in this crime series.... [More]
Directed By: Jonas Pate

The Following (2013)

Synopsis: THE FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States.... [More]

Cult (2013)

Synopsis: There is television and there is the world we live in. In the shadows where they meet, there is CULT.... [More]

The Prisoner (2009)

Synopsis: A reworking of the 1960s cult hit about an amnesiac held in a mysterious area called the Village, where inhabitants... [More]

Waco airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on Paramount Network.

Tag Cloud

crime drama nfl concert scorecard discovery a nightmare on elm street MTV DC Comics Disney Plus MSNBC black RT21 Amazon Studios tv talk 2017 Black History Month Masterpiece foreign Cannes disaster Food Network classics Warner Bros. E3 christmas movies latino miniseries 71st Emmy Awards free movies strong female leads Music halloween 45 Turner Classic Movies BBC America Lionsgate singing competition all-time APB San Diego Comic-Con psycho Box Office Sci-Fi sequels comic Binge Guide golden globes revenge IFC Films game of thrones Superheroe Tubi VICE children's TV SundanceTV Rom-Com TCA Awards video on demand kids 007 WarnerMedia ID Mudbound rotten name the review toy story Comics on TV Mary Tyler Moore Opinion Fox Searchlight quibi Anna Paquin Emmys YouTube TV 2015 superhero crime thriller sag awards CNN National Geographic Disney streaming service zombie rotten movies we love Hulu Sundance TV Epix ABC See It Skip It Schedule Marvel criterion toronto joker USA OWN Year in Review Super Bowl Video Games australia period drama Ovation GLAAD deadpool elevated horror spinoff Amazon Prime HBO Max slashers medical drama ghosts hispanic doctor who Character Guide Watching Series Song of Ice and Fire what to watch laika Comedy Reality Competition supernatural El Rey SXSW universal monsters A24 Teen diversity versus 4/20 Brie Larson fresh Sundance Now Black Mirror screenings theme song Travel Channel Crunchyroll movie Reality blaxploitation nbcuniversal boxing Biopics comedies sports Pixar Bravo Thanksgiving Marvel Studios Marathons dragons jamie lee curtis Sundance 72 Emmy Awards CBS mockumentary Apple Walt Disney Pictures batman streaming rt archives TNT hist Cartoon Network AMC Nat Geo venice politics true crime SDCC green book japanese Television Critics Association worst movies Discovery Channel thriller sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt witnail Drama Amazon Fantasy festivals worst RT History adventure sequel reviews Television Academy Pop teaser ESPN cults TV Land docudrama Disney+ Disney Plus romance critics 99% Ghostbusters WGN Interview Rock The Witch facebook police drama Baby Yoda Disney Channel BET series dc TCA 2017 werewolf award winner Mystery Adult Swim emmy awards asian-american Arrowverse Logo spanish Hallmark south america CW Seed Best and Worst Lifetime Christmas movies Avengers talk show documentaries Valentine's Day PlayStation james bond halloween tv spider-man football Sneak Peek ratings Photos Film Animation Elton John Columbia Pictures NBC Chernobyl canceled TV shows BET Awards Red Carpet technology Marvel Television die hard X-Men The Walking Dead parents Endgame french IFC DGA FXX based on movie child's play Funimation Hear Us Out Fox News Trivia 20th Century Fox best American Society of Cinematographers nature archives finale science fiction The Purge Captain marvel Trailer Quiz BBC Musicals Rocketman cartoon 2020 Winners Heroines BBC One Syfy Amazon Prime Video comiccon Western Pride Month indie Fall TV 24 frames Esquire Family Kids & Family Nickelodeon E! adaptation Women's History Month stop motion Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Calendar Infographic Horror 21st Century Fox Netflix Christmas movies television documentary ITV justice league YouTube Premium news anthology dceu blockbuster Star Trek psychological thriller independent war breaking bad comic books anime Film Festival Summer CBS All Access Britbox chucky CMT GIFs TBS cooking stand-up comedy Holiday Tarantino franchise MCU binge Stephen King DC Universe aliens harry potter cinemax unscripted Mary poppins USA Network Awards travel stoner The Arrangement canceled Tumblr Spring TV BAFTA First Reviews DC streaming service animated TLC Turner VH1 Musical Martial Arts Creative Arts Emmys Comedy Central films Superheroes Pop TV Mindy Kaling Set visit cancelled TV shows TV renewals Nominations Netflix book cops Shondaland zombies HBO dramedy Cosplay TruTV Extras Rocky political drama President dogs reboot fast and furious Certified Fresh game show Starz Star Wars Acorn TV Peacock TCM Lucasfilm obituary mutant Pet Sematary Apple TV+ Paramount Alien remakes OneApp Emmy Nominations renewed TV shows cats Hallmark Christmas movies robots vampires festival Spike Freeform spanish language serial killer romantic comedy Polls and Games FOX Tomatazos Country Academy Awards richard e. Grant zero dark thirty Showtime YouTube Red Disney directors boxoffice Dark Horse Comics 2016 satire NYCC Premiere Dates LGBT spy thriller dark Toys Trophy Talk natural history biography historical drama History Comic Book 2019 DirecTV hollywood social media Apple TV Plus cancelled TV series The CW mission: impossible Podcast italian TCA Winter 2020 scary movies crossover LGBTQ Paramount Network space Action composers 2018 casting comics movies cars Spectrum Originals cancelled television TCA Writers Guild of America Sony Pictures Shudder Election FX on Hulu Countdown PBS VOD video indiana jones ABC Family Mary Poppins Returns YA screen actors guild Universal FX Holidays Crackle A&E PaleyFest Lifetime spain transformers New York Comic Con GoT crime Classic Film twilight Winter TV Oscars cancelled Awards Tour TIFF Christmas Vudu First Look The Academy Pirates HBO Go Ellie Kemper Grammys