Wednesday, November 11, 2020

National Geographic Renews 'The Hot Zone' for Season 2

National Geographic has today renewed its original anthology drama series The Hot Zone for a second season. The new season will focus on a completely new story - detailing the anthrax attacks of 2001.

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 country. 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.

Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson will return as showrunners for the new season. They will executive produce with Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Jordan Sheehan and Lynda Obst. Richard Preston will serve as a co-executive producer. Touchstone Television and Scott Free Productions produce.

"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,' said Carolyn Bernstein, Executive Vice President of Global Scripted Content and Documentary Films, National Geographic. "As the world battles COVID-19, another deadly and mysterious virus, The Hot Zone: Anthrax is a scientific thriller for our time."

"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," added 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."

The Hot Zone started as a limited series chronicling the Ebola virus outbreak. The series starred Julianna Margulies and debuted on Memorial Day 2019. Casting will begin shortly on the new season.