National Geographic is set to produce GOING VIRAL, a companion documentary special to the network’s upcoming limited scripted series THE HOT ZONE, which is inspired by the terrifying true story of the origins of the Ebola virus and its arrival on U.S. soil. Premiering this May on National Geographic, GOING VIRAL will combine the dramatic real-life stories of viral close encounters, scientific investigations and archival news clips to chronicle one of the most terrifying medical crises of our time. In our interconnected world, there’s no place to hide from highly infectious diseases, and no more urgent question than: What does it take to be prepared?
GOING VIRAL will follow scientific researchers, Ebola survivors, policy and decision makers, the author and the real-life subjects of THE HOT ZONE, Nancy and Jerry Jaax, to capture the truth behind one of the deadliest viral infections known to mankind. The hourlong documentary will feature interviews with Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, who has served as a front-line physician providing care to Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and will be deployed to the Uganda/Democratic Republic of Congo border to address the current Ebola outbreak; Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who was a key decision maker in the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak; Dr. Pardis Sabeti, who discovered Ebola mutations and was named TIME magazine “Person the Year” in 2014 as a leading Ebola fighter; Dr. Ian Crozier, a 2014 Ebola survivor; Richard Preston, author of the best-selling book “The Hot Zone,” on which the scripted series is based; and more.
Every virus presents a mystery. Ebola is one of the most lethal of them all, yet even with thousands of detectives on its case there is still little known about it. Ebola spreads like wildfire, kills and then retreats into an eerie void, laying low in a mysterious host. Just a few years ago, the worst Ebola epidemic in history killed nearly 12,000 people globally. GOING VIRAL will tell the stories of the people on the front lines who are tracking, researching and fighting the deadly virus.
THE HOT ZONE stars an ensemble cast led by Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife,” “ER”), Noah Emmerich (“The Americans”), Liam Cunningham (“Game of Thrones”), Topher Grace (“BlackKKKlansman”), Paul James (“The Path”), Nick Searcy (“The Shape of Water”), Robert Wisdom (“The Wire”) and Robert Sean Leonard (“House”). James D’Arcy (“Homeland”) and Grace Gummer (“Mr. Robot”) join the cast as series guest stars. The series is set to premiere Monday, May 27, and will air over three nights.
The six-part limited series is inspired by Preston’s book of the same name and based and is inspired by the true events surrounding the origins of the Ebola virus and its arrival on U.S. soil in 1989. A heroic U.S. Army scientist, Nancy Jaax (Margulies), working with a secret specialized military 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.
GOING VIRAL is produced by National Geographic. Executive producer is Betsy Forhan, vice president of production is Kevin Tao Mohs and executive vice president of unscripted entertainment is Geoff Daniels.
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Stephanie Silva, 212-656-0736, firstname.lastname@example.org