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.

#1
Adjusted Score: 97.772%
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)
79%

#2
Synopsis: Utah businessman, Bill Paxton, is busy with his expanding home improvement business. But, what takes more of his time are... [More]

The Path (2016)
79%

#3
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]

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 62.296%
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: 75.23%
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)
67%

#7
Synopsis: The untold story exploring the true life details leading up to and chronicling the 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF... [More]

Aquarius (2015)
77%

#8
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)
56%

#9
Synopsis: THE FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States.... [More]

Cult (2013)
38%

#10
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)
17%

#11
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

TBS Amazon CW Seed Toys Polls and Games Tumblr Box Office Hulu adventure Adult Swim travel TV Land Awards Tour what to watch boxoffice Calendar Captain marvel Winners sitcom ABC Thanksgiving spy thriller Oscars GIFs zombie Showtime President Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt harry potter politics USA Comedy Central 2017 Mary Poppins Returns dceu TCA 2017 Esquire Mary poppins DC Universe SDCC spider-man GoT HBO TIFF Masterpiece San Diego Comic-Con Music crossover Countdown miniseries The CW YouTube Premium FX Warner Bros. Drama discovery diversity Black Mirror CMT Tomatazos binge Election golden globes Rocky Year in Review serial killer Sci-Fi unscripted Epix New York Comic Con 21st Century Fox based on movie WGN TNT talk show doctor who Paramount Network casting Rom-Com Bravo Schedule cults Teen SXSW Marvel Musical Syfy Britbox Mindy Kaling E3 MSNBC Starz Awards historical drama facebook crime OWN Disney SundanceTV Martial Arts Western crime drama 45 vampires war Ellie Kemper 007 Fantasy Shondaland Nickelodeon Opinion Paramount science fiction Trivia docudrama Ghostbusters Action DirecTV MCU television blaxploitation First Look Kids & Family Dark Horse Comics MTV FOX Logo Superheroes hist Red Carpet LGBTQ Disney Channel biography Reality Competition TCM BET technology TCA Song of Ice and Fire VICE Infographic PaleyFest Certified Fresh Crackle Netflix 20th Century Fox Chilling Adventures of Sabrina PBS Premiere Dates DGA ratings robots cops Trophy Talk Fall TV Valentine's Day supernatural Star Wars Holidays Video Games APB DC streaming service CBS All Access Super Bowl justice league Winter TV Cosplay Summer 2015 Universal X-Men BBC America Quiz Christmas composers Walt Disney Pictures comiccon Musicals Spring TV Biopics ITV CBS Extras DC Comics ESPN social media Best and Worst 24 frames Horror dramedy History Comics on TV Star Trek Sundance Now Country medical drama Brie Larson cinemax Comic Book Pop USA Network Pirates RT History Animation YA finale Set visit singing competition Photos VH1 Podcast Lucasfilm Trailer Pixar Lionsgate festivals Writers Guild of America YouTube Red Amazon Prime BBC Sony Pictures 2019 sports political drama Cartoon Network Character Guide NYCC Interview Nat Geo TV American Society of Cinematographers comic Food Network IFC Films award winner TLC period drama Sneak Peek streaming Fox News Creative Arts Emmys Shudder Acorn TV Columbia Pictures transformers El Rey police drama thriller See It Skip It National Geographic cats Sundance NBC The Arrangement romance Comedy AMC psycho mutant FXX Emmys Spike zombies CNN Ovation Nominations Reality TruTV cooking Grammys Apple GLAAD 2016 Mystery 2018 A&E crime thriller Watching Series Freeform IFC Rock dc jamie lee curtis Superheroe anime E! Marathons green book Lifetime Mary Tyler Moore aliens ABC Family