'Waco' Miniseries Adds 'House of Cards,' 'Boardwalk Empire' Alums

Andrea Riseborough, Rory Culkin, Paul Sparks and Shea Whigham have signed on for the six-part event series, which hails from Weinstein Television.
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Paul Sparks

Weinstein Television's Waco event series is adding to its cast.

Paul Sparks (House of Cards), Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire), Andrea Riseborough (Birdman) and Rory Culkin (Signs) have signed on for the six-part project, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Set to air on Paramount Network in 2018, Waco will reveal the untold true story of the 51-day standoff in 1993 between the ATF, the FBI and David Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians, told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved in both sides of the conflict. The subsequent raid led to a deadly fire that killed 76 people.

Sparks will portray Steve Schneider, one of Koresh’s closest confidants and supporters who becomes deeply conflicted once his wife announces she’s pregnant with Koresh’s child. In addition to TV series including Boardwalk Empire, The Night Of and The Girlfriend Experience, the Gersh-repped actor's film credits include Mud and Midnight Special.

Riseborough will play Judy, Schneider's wife, who reluctantly sacrifices her marriage to show devotion to Koresh. The actress' credits also include Nocturnal Animals, Bloodline and National Treasure. She is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Independent Talent Group.

Whigham is set as the tactical commander of the FBI, known within the bureau for his bravado. The actor is currently recurring on Fargo and Vice Principals, and can also be seen in Kong: Skull Island. He is repped by CAA and Principal Entertainment.

Culkin will portray David Thibodeau, a young musician who joins Koresh’s band. Though initially reluctant to join Koresh, he eventually undergoes a dramatic transformation from an agnostic to a true believer. Known for roles in Signs and You Can Count on Me, Thibodeau is repped by Paradigm and Brookside Artist Management. 

The quartet join a cast led by Taylor Kitsch, who will play Koresh, and Michael Shannon, who is set to portray FBI negotiator Gary Noesner. John Leguizamo also recently signed on to play ATF agent Robert Rodriguez.

"We are fired up by this wonderful cast, assembled by Harvey [Weinstein] and the entire Waco team,” said Ted Gold, Paramount Network's senior vp, scripted original series. "Each of these actors bring such complexity and authenticity to everything they do and we can’t wait to see them in these roles.”

John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (No Escape) penned the script, with the former also set to direct. The duo will executive produce with Shannon, Kitsch and Salvatore Stabile, along with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, David Glasser, Jennifer Malloy and Megan Spanjian for Weinstein Television.

Gold and scripted programming vp Lauren Ruggiero will oversee the project for Paramount.  

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