Waco: The Aftermath: The Release Date, Cast And Other Things We Know About The Showtime Series

Michael Shannon in Waco: The Aftermath
(Image credit: Showtime)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the federal government’s 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, a heavily covered and incredibly consequential event that impacted the United States in a way that can still be felt today. The 2018 Paramount Network series, Waco, dramatized the events that led to the FBI and ATF trying to arrest David Koresh and his followers, as well as the tragic outcome of the massive operation.

In the very near future, Showtime will release Waco: The Aftermath, a new limited series detailing what happened in the days, weeks, months, and years after the Waco siege, as well as how the incident led to the deadliest domestic terrorist attack in United States history. Here is everything we know about the upcoming limited series, including its release date, cast, and other key details.

What Is The Waco: The Aftermath Premiere Date?

The Showtime logo

(Image credit: Showtime)

There will be a couple of different times and ways to watch Waco: The Aftermath upon its release. The limited series will first have its streaming debut for anyone with a Showtime membership or a Paramount+ subscription (with the Showtime add-on) on Friday, April 14th. The traditional broadcast debut will take place on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 16th, which is nearly 30 years to the date after the April 19, 1993 teargas attack that played a part in the complete destruction of the Branch Davidian compound.

Michael Shannon, John Leguizamo And Giovanni Ribisi Lead The Waco: The Aftermath Cast

Michael Shannon, John Leguizamo, and Giovanni Ribisi in Waco: The Aftermath

(Image credit: Showtime)

Although the Waco: The Aftermath cast won’t see the return of Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh (as it looks like flashbacks in the teaser and trailer feature a different actor playing the leader), there will be a few actors who appeared in the 2018 true crime drama returning for the upcoming companion series. 

Showtime has announced that Michael Shannon will be back as FBI hostage negotiator Gary Noesner, whose attempts to talk the Branch Davidians out of their compound in the original series never came to fruition. John Leguizamo, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of undercover ATF agent Jacob Vasquez, will also be returning to lead the series. Rounding out the main portion of the cast is Giovanni Ribisi, who will be taking on the role of Dan Cogdell, the defense attorney for the surviving members of the religious sect. 

Shortly after the show’s announcement, Variety revealed additions to the Waco: The Aftermath cast, including Shea Whigham and Annika Marks, who played FBI agent Mitch Decker and Branch Davidian member Kathy Schroeder, respectively, in the 2018 limited series. 

Other key additions to the cast include Gary Cole, Nicholas Kolev, Michael Luwoye, Kali Rocha, and Alex Breaux as Timothy McVeigh, whose story appears to be a major part of Waco: The Aftermath

The Series Chronicles The Events Between Waco And The Oklahoma City Bombing

Timothy McVeigh preparing for the Oklahoma City Bombing in Waco: The Aftermath

(Image credit: Showtime)

When Waco: The Aftermath premieres on Showtime in April, it will pick up almost right after the events of its 2018 predecessor. The network has announced that the upcoming limited series will focus on the fallout of the disaster, the trials of the Branch Davidians who were lucky enough to survive the raid by federal agents, and the rise of domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh as he is inspired by the incident to carry out the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.

However, Showtime has yet to reveal if the limited series spends any time covering the aftermath of the April 19, 1995, bombing, or if it will just show McVeigh and his co-conspirators plan the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that would ultimately claim the lives of 168 people.

The Waco: The Aftermath Trailer Shows The Fallout From The 1993 Raid And Rise Of Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh preparing for the Oklahoma City Bombing in Waco: The Aftermath

(Image credit: Showtime)

On February 28, 2023, 30 years to the date after the raid on the Branch Davidian compound started, Showtime released the first full trailer for Waco: The Aftermath, which packed in a tremendous amount of details in just under two minutes. The trailer primarily focuses on the fallout of the siege, including the federal cases brought against several of the survivors, as well as how the anti-government and militia movements throughout the country used the incident as a rallying cry. Check it out below:

On top of that, the show also spends a fair amount of time showing Timothy McVeigh planning out the Oklahoma City Bombing, including shots of him stockpiling supplies that would later be used to carry out the deadly attack.

Waco: The Aftermath Has Five Episodes, All Directed By Showrunners Drew Dowdle And John Erick Dowdle

Michael Shannon in Waco: The Aftermath

(Image credit: Showtime)

In addition to featuring several members of the Waco cast, the upcoming sequel series will also see the return of creators and showrunners Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle, Showtime has announced. The two executive producers will also direct all five episodes, after helming four of the 2018 limited series’ six-episode run. 

Probably best known for their work on the 2007 mockumentary horror film, The Poughkeepsie Tapes, which has remained popular thanks to TikTok, the Dowdle brothers have worked on a number of projects over the years. This also includes movies like Devil, Quarantine, and No Escape. They also created the 2021 Paramount+ original series, Joe Pickett

Also serving as executive producers on Waco: The Aftermath are Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, Andrew Gettens, and Lauren Mackenzie, among others. 

The Series Was Initially Produced For Paramount+ But Shifted To Showtime Prior To Its Release

The Paramount+ logo

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Though Waco: The Aftermath will call Showtime home when it premieres in April, the limited series not only started out with a different name – American Tragedies: Waco – the sequel series was originally produced as a Paramount+ exclusive, as reported by Deadline back in April 2022. However, a little less than a year later, Paramount, which owns both Showtime and Paramount+, decided to move the finished show to the premium channel with the new title, per Deadline.

It should be noted that while Waco: The Aftermath will now be airing on Showtime, it can still be watched on Paramount+ for those who have the Showtime bundle.  

The 2018 series has been added to the Paramount+ streaming library, which is perfect for anyone who needs to get all caught up before the sequel's April 2023 premiere. In the meantime, check out the 2023 TV schedule to see what else is coming to your favorite channels and streaming services in the next few months.

Stream Waco (2018) on Paramount+.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.