National Geographic, Fox 21 Television Studios and Scott Free Productions today announced the cast joining previously announced Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife,” “ER”) in THE HOT ZONE, based on the eponymous international best-seller by Richard Preston. Noah Emmerich (“The Americans”), Liam Cunningham (“Game of Thrones”), Topher Grace (“Blackkklansman”), Paul James (“The Path”), Nick Searcy (“The Shape of Water”), Robert Wisdom (“The Wire”) and Robert Sean Leonard (“House”) will all star in the six-episode global miniseries inspired by the terrifying true story of the origins of the Ebola virus and its first arrival on U.S. soil in 1989. James D’Arcy (“Homeland”) joins the cast as a series guest star. Production begins today in Toronto and will also shoot in South Africa in early December. THE HOT ZONE will premiere globally on National Geographic in 2019.
Emmerich joins as Lt. Col. Jerry Jaax, husband of Nancy Jaax (Margulies), who doesn’t hesitate to risk his life during the operation to contain the Ebola virus. Cunningham is set to portray Wade Carter, Dr. Nancy Jaax’s vital ally in the race to prevent the virus from spreading. Topher Grace is Dr. Peter Jahrling, virologist for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who butts heads with Dr. Jaax over the best way to contain the virus. James D’Arcy is Center for Disease Control official Trevor Rhodes, Carter’s former assistant and current nemesis. Paul James will play Ben Gellis, a lab tech at the pathology lab in Reston, Virginia, assisting Dr. Jaax and Dr. Jahrling. Nick Searcy is Frank Mays, the exhausted colony manager at the Reston Monkey Facility where the virus originated. Robert Wisdom joins as Col. Vernon Tucker of USAMRIID, Dr. Jaax’s superior. And Robert Sean Leonard will portray company man Walter Humboldt, the liaison between Hazleton, a scientific research corporation, and its primate lab in Reston.
Michael Uppendahl (“Castle Rock,” “Fargo”) and Nick Murphy (“Save Me,” “The Secret”) will serve as directors. Kelly Soulders (“Genius,” “Salem”) and Brian Peterson (“Genius,” “Salem”) are showrunners and executive producers.
THE HOT ZONE tells the story of the origins of Ebola, a highly infectious and deadly virus from the central African rain forest, and its arrival on U.S. soil in 1989. When this killer suddenly appeared in monkeys in a scientific research lab in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., there was no known cure. A heroic U.S. Army scientist working with a secret military specialized team put her life on the line to head off the outbreak before it spread to the human population. THE HOT ZONE is a dramatic, high-stakes scientific thriller with a courageous, brilliant and determined heroine at its center.
THE HOT ZONE is executive produced by Lynda Obst Production’s Lynda Obst and Scott Free Production’s Ridley Scott and David Zucker. Michael Uppendahl is also an executive producer. For National Geographic, Carolyn G. Bernstein is executive vice president and head of global scripted development and production. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, Lynda Obst Productions, Scott Free Productions, Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson and Jeff Vintar.
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About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Fox 21 Television Studios
Fox 21 Television Studios is a production unit housed within Fox Television Group devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television Studios is responsible for the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (with FX Productions) as well as its follow-up “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”; the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning “Homeland,” starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin; the critically acclaimed “The Americans” (with FX Productions), starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell; the blockbuster “Sons of Anarchy” as well as its follow-up “Mayans M.C.” from co-creators Kurt Sutter and Elgin James; “Queen of the South,” executive produced by David T. Friendly; “Pose” from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall and Sherry Marsh, with Steven Canals as co-executive producer, and Janet Mock, Our Lady J and Erica Kay as producers; and the Emmy-nominated Genius: Einstein, its follow-up Genius: Picasso and the upcoming installment Genius: Mary Shelley. Additional upcoming projects include The Hot Zone based on Richard Preston’s international best-seller, and the untitled “‘Fosse/Verdon” limited series from Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Fox 21 Television Studios shows have amassed a collective 478 Emmy nominations and 108 Emmy wins, as well as multiple Golden Globes, Humanitas Prizes and Peabody Awards.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MEDIA CONTACT:
Stephanie Silva, 212-656-0736, Stephanie.Silva@natgeo.com
FOX 21 TELEVISION STUDIOS MEDIA CONTACT:
Shari Rosenblum, 310-369-8250, firstname.lastname@example.org