The Hot Zone (American TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hot Zone
Created byJames V. Hart
Based onThe Hot Zone
by Richard Preston
Developed by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes12
Executive producers
Running time44-53 minutes
Production companies
Original networkNational Geographic
Original releaseMay 27, 2019 (2019-05-27) –
present (present)

The Hot Zone is an American anthology drama television series, based on the 1994 non-fiction book of the same name by Richard Preston and airing on National Geographic.

The first season, consisting of six episodes, aired from May 27 to May 29, 2019, and was intended as a miniseries. Largely set in 1989[clarification needed], it follows U.S. Army scientist Nancy Jaax who is confronted the possibility of a potentially deadly outbreak of Ebola. Jaax, a veterinary pathologist, first identifies the ebolavirus after it appears in monkeys in a Primate Quarantine Facility in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. The season was positively reviewed, and renewed for a second season.[1]

The second season, titled The Hot Zone: Anthrax, focuses on the 2001 anthrax attacks, just weeks after September 11.[2] The season, also consisting of six episodes, aired from November 28 to November 30, 2021.[3]

Cast and characters[edit]

Season one[edit]



Season two[edit]




Series overview[edit]

SeasonTitleEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1-6May 27, 2019 (2019-05-27)May 29, 2019 (2019-05-29)
2Anthrax6November 28, 2021 (2021-11-28)November 30, 2021 (2021-11-30)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
11"Arrival"Michael UppendahlStory by : James V. Hart
Teleplay by : James V. Hart & Jeff Vintar & Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson
May 27, 2019 (2019-05-27)1WBC011.38[8]
After a lab accident, Dr. Nancy Jaax, who has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world handling deadly viruses, is faced with a possible Ebola outbreak on U.S. soil.
22"Cell H"Michael UppendahlStory by : James V. Hart
Teleplay by : Brian Peterson & Jeff Vintar & James V. Hart
May 27, 2019 (2019-05-27)1WBC021.26[8]
To determine the source of the virus before it spreads Dr. Nancy Jaax and her lab partner, Dr. Peter Jahrling, must take matters into their own hands. Samples from infected monkeys are handed over to Dr. Jaax from an employee she persuaded to obtain.
33"Charlie Foxtrot"Nick MurphyStory by : James V. Hart
Teleplay by : James V. Hart & Kelly Souders
May 28, 2019 (2019-05-28)1WBC031.10[9]
When representatives from varying agencies disagree on how to handle Dr. Nancy Jaax's discovery, an employee at the monkey research facility falls ill. She realizes there are few protocols in place to containing a deadly virus on U.S. soil.
44"Expendable"Nick MurphyBrian Peterson & James V. HartMay 28, 2019 (2019-05-28)1WBC041.00[9]
Dr. Wade Carter is obsessed with exposing the dangers of Ebola. Jerry Jaax searches for a way to protect his wife as she fears the virus has spread to the human population when an employee at the research facility falls ill.
55"Quarantine"Nick MurphyStory by : James V. Hart
Teleplay by : Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson & James V. Hart
May 29, 2019 (2019-05-29)1WBC051.01[10]
Dr. Jaax is forced to make a choice between her family and her duty to her country as she works tirelessly to find out why the virus is behaving differently than expected in human victims. At the research facility unforeseen dangers arise.
66"Hidden"Michael UppendahlStory by : Kelly Souders & Jeff Vintar & James V. Hart
Teleplay by : Kelly Souders & Jeff Vintar
May 29, 2019 (2019-05-29)1WBC060.94[10]
At the research facility a volatile situation inside comes to a head. Exhaustion threatens the precision needed to sterilize the threat as Dr. Jaax steps up. Neighbors become aware of the danger next door as the press arrives.

Season 2: Anthrax[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
71"Noble Eagle"Daniel PercivalKelly Souders & Brian PetersonNovember 28, 2021 (2021-11-28)2WBG010.28[11]
After an anthrax attack on US soil, Special Agent Matthew Ryker begins his investigation.
82"Hell's Chimney"John FawcettMac MarshallNovember 28, 2021 (2021-11-28)2WBG020.23[11]
The Investigation moves to New York as a new case of anthrax appears at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
93"Neither Rain Nor Sleet..."John FawcettCathryn HumphrisNovember 29, 2021 (2021-11-29)2WBG030.41[12]
An attack on Capitol Hill sends panic through DC. Officials struggle to properly respond.
104"Dream Boldly, Live Fully"Courtney HuntJeff VintarNovember 29, 2021 (2021-11-29)2WBG040.35[12]
Ryker and team trace how the letter was sent, as another side of Bruce comes to light.
115"Stentor Roeselii"Courtney HuntMac Marshall & Jeff VintarNovember 30, 2021 (2021-11-30)2WBG050.30[13]
Dani's lone wolf theory gains traction, and the FBI surprises Ryker with an announcement.
126"RMR–1029"Daniel PercivalKelly Souders & Brian PetersonNovember 30, 2021 (2021-11-30)2WBG060.30[13]
Bruce becomes increasingly unhinged as the FBI circles him as a suspect.



On April 18, 2018, it was announced that National Geographic had given a series order to the production. Executive producers were set to include Lynda Obst, Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson, Jeff Vintar, and Ridley Scott. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of Fox 21 Television Studios, Scott Free Productions, and Lynda Obst Productions.[14][15][16] On August 9, 2018, it was announced that Kelly Souders and Brian Wayne Peterson were joining the series as showrunners, executive producers, and writers.[17][18] On February 8, 2019, it was announced that the series would premiere on May 27, 2019.[19] In November 2020, National Geographic renewed the series for a second season.[1]


On July 25, 2018, it was announced during the Television Critics Association's annual summer press tour that Julianna Margulies had been cast in the first season's lead role.[20] On September 13, 2018, it was reported that Noah Emmerich, Liam Cunningham, Topher Grace, Paul James, Nick Searcy, Robert Wisdom, and Robert Sean Leonard had joined the cast in starring roles and that James D'Arcy would make a guest starring appearance.[21] On December 6, 2018, it was announced that Grace Gummer would appear in a recurring capacity.[22]

In early 2021, following the announcement of a second season with a different story, Tony Goldwyn,[2] Daniel Dae Kim,[2] Harry Hamlin,[5] Dylan Baker,[5] Ian Colletti[6] Dawn Olivieri,[6] and Denyce Lawton[6] were announced as cast members.


Principal photography for the first season took place from September 13, 2018, to November 16, 2018, in Toronto and was also expected to film in South Africa.[23][20] Exterior photography of the rear loading docks of the "monkey lab" took place at the now-closed Life Savers Factory located at 100 Cumberland Ave, Hamilton, Ontario. Loading docks can be viewed from Burris Street as well as homes in reverse shots. Exterior and interior shots of "Commuter Station" took place at the historic Hamilton Canadian National Railway Station, located at 360 James St N, in Hamilton, Ontario.


On December 20, 2018, a "first look" still image from the series was released featuring Julianna Margulies in character as Dr. Nancy Jaax.[24] On February 8, 2019, a trailer for the series was released.[19]

The Show airs on National Geographic.

The series is available to stream internationally with Disney+ through its Star hub, with the second season released in selected territories.[25] The series was removed from Disney+ on May 26, 2023, despite not being cancelled and still running.[26]

Going Viral[edit]

Going Viral is a 2019 one-hour documentary companion to the miniseries.[27]

On February 8, 2019, it was announced that National Geographic had greenlit a companion documentary film to premiere alongside the series in May 2019. The film was set to be executive produced by Betsy Forhan and feature interviews with subjects including Richard Preston, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Dr. Pardis Sabeti, and Dr. Ian Crozier. The production company involved with the film was slated to be National Geographic Studios.[27]


Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gave an approval rating of 85%, based on 20 reviews. Its critical consensus reads: "An anxiety-producing dramatization of real-world events, The Hot Zone acts as a sobering reminder of exactly how deadly a disease can be."[28] On Metacritic, the season had a score of 69 out of 100, based on 12 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[29]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2020 Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Actress Made for Television Movie / Mini-Series Julianna Margulies Won [30]
Outstanding Made for Television Movie The Hot Zone Nominated


  1. ^ Known as Fox 21 Television Studios until 2020 and Touchstone Television until 2020


  1. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (November 11, 2020). "'The Hot Zone': Nat Geo Orders Season 2 About 2001 Anthrax Attacks". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Petski, Denise (13 January 2021). "'The Hot Zone: Anthrax': Tony Goldwyn & Daniel Dae Kim To Star In Season 2 Of Nat Geo Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 18, 2021). "'The Hot Zone: Anthrax' Sets Thanksgiving Premiere On Nat Geo, Releases First-Look Images & Teaser Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  4. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Alakananda (May 20, 2019). "The Hot Zone's Lenny Platt says working on Nat Geo's Ebola mini-series 'made me more germaphobic than I ever was'". Meaww. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Andreeva, Nellie (9 February 2021). "'The Hot Zone: Anthrax': Harry Hamlin To Play Tom Brokaw, Dylan Baker Also Cast In Nat Geo Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Petski, Denise (23 February 2021). "'The Hot Zone: Anthrax': Ian Colletti, Dawn Olivieri & Denyce Lawton To Recur In Nat Geo Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (March 29, 2021). "'The Hot Zone: Anthrax': Enrico Colantoni To Play Rudy Giuliani, Morgan Kelly Set To Recur In Nat Geo Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (May 29, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 5.27.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (May 30, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 5.28.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (May 30, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 5.29.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch. "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 11.28.2021 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch. "ShowBuzzDaily's Monday 11.29.2021 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch. "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 11.30.2021 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (April 18, 2018). "Nat Geo Greenlights Ebola Drama Series From Ridley Scott, Sets 3 Development Projects". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (April 18, 2018). "Ebola Drama Series From Scott Free Set as Nat Geo Grows Scripted Roster (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (April 18, 2018). "National Geographic Channel Orders Ebola Virus Drama 'The Hot Zone'". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (August 9, 2018). "Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson Ink Overall Deal With Fox 21 Television Studios; Will Showrun 'The Hot Zone'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 9, 2018). "Former 'Smallville' Showrunners Ink Overall Deal With Fox 21". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Lawrence, Derek (February 8, 2019). "Exclusive: Julianna Margulies races to stop an Ebola outbreak in 'The Hot Zone' trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Petski, Denise (July 25, 2018). "Julianna Margulies To Topline Nat Geo's Ebola Virus Drama Series 'The Hot Zone' – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  21. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 13, 2018). "Topher Grace, Liam Cunningham Among Eight to Join Nat Geo Miniseries 'The Hot Zone'". Variety. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  22. ^ Maglio, Tony (December 6, 2018). "Grace Gummer Joins Nat Geo's 'The Hot Zone' in Recurring Role (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "Recently Wrapped: Toronto and Ontario". What's Filming?. 9 February 2018. Archived from the original on November 22, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  24. ^ Rice, Lynette (December 20, 2018). "Exclusive: See Julianna Margulies in first look at scary Ebola miniseries 'The Hot Zone'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  25. ^ Disney+: The Hot Zone
  26. ^ "Over 50 shows are being pulled from Disney Plus and Hulu". 19 May 2023.
  27. ^ a b Alcinii, Daniele (February 8, 2019). "Exclusive: National Geographic to launch Ebola doc special 'Going Viral'". Realscreen. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  28. ^ "The Hot Zone: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  29. ^ "The Hot Zone (2019): Season 1". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  30. ^ "WIN 21 Winners". The WIN Awards. Retrieved 2022-05-11.

External links[edit]