National Geographic Orders 2nd Season Of Drama ‘The Hot Zone’
National Geographic has handed a 2nd Season order to ‘The Hot Zone‘ the channel has announced. Whilst the show was originally touted as a limited series, the drama has become the network’s highest-rated scripted series to date, so it shouldn’t come as a huge shock that they want more!
Based on true events detailed in Richard Preston’s international best-seller of the same name, the first season followed events in 1989, when the deadly Ebola virus made its first known appearance on US soil in a scientific facility outside Washington, DC. Season 2 will tackle a new deadly pathogen, Anthrax…
In 2001, just weeks after 9/11, the United States was rocked by another deadly act of terrorism. Letters containing anthrax were sent to unsuspecting victims in Florida, Washington, D.C. and New York. The anonymous assault claimed five lives, left 17 others sick and caused panic throughout the U.S. Despite interagency turf wars and many false leads, an unlikely team of USAMRIID scientists (The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Defense’s lead research laboratory), FBI agents and Justice Department personnel slowly closed in on a shocking prime suspect.
“The gripping, propulsive story of the hunt for the anthrax killer who terrorized the country in the dark days that followed the Sept. 11 attack couldn’t be more timely,” comments Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president, Global Scripted Content and Documentary Films. “As the world battles COVID-19, another deadly and mysterious virus, ‘The Hot Zone: Anthrax’ is a scientific thriller for our time.”
The original series, which aired last year, starred Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies in the lead role, and was National Geographic’s most-watched scripted series of all time and ranked the second most-watched series on the network of all time. As Season 2 is also based around real-world events, it will presumably have a new lead, and casting is currently underway. Touchstone Television and Scott Free Productions will produce again, with Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson returning as executive producers and showrunners for this next instalment.
“While many of us can recall the breaking news headlines and the widespread fear that ensued when anthrax emerged in America, there are still layers to this story that have not yet been told,” said Kelly Souders. “The second season of our anthology series will dive deep into the forensic investigation of a simple envelope that sent the entire Eastern Seaboard into a panic.”
Alongside Souders and Peterson, Scott Free Production’s Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker serve as exec producers, along with Jordan Sheehan and Lynda Obst. Richard Preston is a co-executive producer on the series. The series is produced by Touchstone Television, a division of Disney Television Studios alongside 20th Television and ABC Signature, and Scott Free Productions.
There is no premiere date yet for ‘The Hot Zone: Anthrax’ yet… although filming a show in the middle of a pandemic where the cast has to be in hazmat suits half the time is a genius idea, and should help get production moving! The series will premiere on National Geographic in the USA, and presumably National Geographic UK too, as they previously aired season one, but we’ll let you know when we hear more.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.