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: 96.753%
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)
86%

#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: 62.076%
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: 74.099%
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)
65%

#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)
57%

#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)
55%

#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)
19%

#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

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