Ebola-Themed Drama In the Works, Based on 1994 Novel The Hot Zone

Ebola TV Series

The Ebola outbreak is spreading to primetime.

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Producer Lynda Obst and director/producer Ridley Scott have been working on a limited-series adaptation of Richard Preston’s 1994 Ebola-themed novel The Hot Zone for about a year, according to The Hollywood Reporter, an endeavor which is coming closer to fruition. No network is currently attached.

Scott, Obst, David Zucker and Jim Hart would all serve as executive producers on the project.

Described as “a terrifying true story,” Preston’s Hot Zone is based on his 1992 New Yorker article “Crisis in the Hot Zone,” which documented the United States’ response to the possibility of the Ebola virus crossing our borders.

Would you feed your fear with a weekly dose of Ebola on TV? Drop a comment with your thoughts on this project below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. behzadbyhimself says:

    Ummm…. too soon?

  2. Drew says:

    I have had enough Ebola drama for a while, thank you very much. And that one is a reality series.

  3. Leo says:

    More irrational fear for the masses.

    • Drew says:

      The fear isn’t irrational at all. The Ebola situation has been handled horribly by the CDC, giving people every right to have a certain level of rational fear.

    • alistaircrane says:

      There’s nothing irrational about it. We’re probably all going to be wiped out by ebola in a matter of months. :-/

  4. Stacey says:

    Shouldn’t they wait until it’s contained. So much fear right now, especially in Africa and now US. Although anything would be a year out probably but still, too sensitive!

  5. James says:

    It’s funny. For entertainment purposes, anything that will grab people’s attention (and money) is worth a shot. But I guess if Ebola continues to spread, there is going to be no one left to watch…

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  7. Alex says:

    trying to cash in on the outbreak? absolutely despicable, hope no network is heartless enough to pick this up.

    • dj says:

      It says they’ve been working on it for a year. I think they were first. The outbreak came second. Nothing despicable about it.

  8. Shelley says:

    NOOOOO!!!! So not the time about this subject.

  9. jenna says:

    I agree with other posters, this is an odd one. They could likely do a similar series with the focus being SARS or west nile virus without seeming insensitive

  10. Angela says:

    Little confused by the people getting all offended over this considering the article states this has been in the works for about a year-i.e., well before the current outbreak happening in the U.S. It’s not exactly like they saw what was going on in the news the past few weeks and said, “Hey, idea!”
    That said, considering the panic surrounding Ebola right now, I don’t know how well this would be received if it does wind up airing on TV.

    • Zayne says:

      Holy crap, there is no outbreak in the US. I’m in Dallas and have zero fear of getting sick right now. One man has died and two healthcare workers are sick. Calm the hell down people.

  11. SmlPotatoes says:

    Pretty sure The Hot Zone was non-fiction???

    • Jay says:

      Correct, the book was non-fiction. And it is surprising how right now no one seems to be talking about how a new strain of the Ebola virus was discovered in Reston, VA (just outside Washington DC in Northern Virginia) as documented in the book. Fortunately the new strain was found to have low pathogenicity in humans, and was found to be deadly only to monkeys. That said, it shows how easily a virus can mutate, and while the Ebola virus we commonly know, originally called Zaire virus or Ebola Zaire, and the three other Ebolavirus strains that are infectious pathogens affecting humans, are not able to survive via airborne transmission the Reston virus was found to be transmitted within a monkey population via airborne transmission. So while the epidemic we are currently facing is controllable via its limited forms of transmission, the risk of a mutation is a very real concern that could create a serious problem at some point in the future.

  12. bj says:

    Wasn’t that already a movie?

    • Jay says:

      No, while Robert Redford optioned the book for development of a theatrical release he was beaten to production by the team producing the movie Outbreak (Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, etc.). At that point Redford abandoned his effort to make the movie.

  13. thisismenow says:

    Great book. Doesn’t need to be turned into a series though. I won’t watch anything Ridley Scott does from now on and I will actually stop watching a channel over this. People are dying, give it a rest. Sensationalism at its best.

  14. Ray says:

    Way to read a room. This is probably the last thing people want to see.

  15. c-mo says:

    I get that this has been in the works for a year but this is a very poorly timed press release done in very poor taste.

  16. SAM says:

    Didn’t this book inspire a series that was on Fox in the 90s?

  17. judy says:

    How did several programs have ebola virus episodes so quickly?this outbreak just occured recently.!!

  18. pullsnopunches says:

    The Hot Zone is nonfiction. It is not a novel.