AMC Networks-owned digital cable network Sundance TV has greenlit a two-night special executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way Productions.
Announced as part of AMC’s Television Critics Association tour presentation in Los Angeles, Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle will provide insight into the Jonestown massacre that claimed the lives of 909 individuals, all but two perishing from apparent cyanide poisoning, in November 1978.
The two-part archival docuseries, produced by Appian Way and Stephen David Entertainment, will paint a vivid portrait of Jim Jones’ transformation from charismatic preacher and champion of civil rights into egomaniacal demagogue who led the biggest mass suicide – deemed a “revolutionary” suicide by Jones – in American history.
The massacre took place in Jonestown, a remote settlement established by the People’s Temple in north Guyana. In all, 918 died in the settlement, at the nearby airstrip in Kaituma and at a temple-run building in Guyana’s capital of Georgetown.
The series is based on the best-selling book The Road to Jonestown by investigative journalist Jeff Guinn. Featured throughout is archival footage, including secret FBI and CIA recordings, unreleased photographs and previously classified documents, as well as new interviews with survivors and Jones family members.
Appian Way’s DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson serve as executive producers, alongside author Jeff Guinn, and Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment.
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle will air in conjunction with the Jonestown massacre’s 40th anniversary on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.