Starring Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, ER) as Nancy Jaax, the six-hour, edge-of-your-seat thriller The Hot Zone will premiere over three nights beginning May 27 with back-to-back new episodes at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic and Showcase. Catch up the next day only on National Geographic VOD.
The Hot Zone, inspired by the true events detailed in Richard Preston’s international best-seller of the same name, will share the harrowing tale of a global crisis that never was. In 1989, in a scientific facility outside Washington, D.C., the deadly Ebola virus made its first known appearance on U.S. soil. The discovery — and eventual containment — of this lethal filovirus, which had a fatality rate of up to 90 percent at the time, was thanks to a group of courageous scientists and soldiers led by Lt. Col. Nancy Jaax (Margulies).
Joining Margulies in the cast are Noah Emmerich (The Americans) as Jaax’s husband, Lt. Col. Jerry Jaax, who doesn’t hesitate to risk his life during the operation to contain the Ebola virus; Topher Grace (BlackKKKlansman) as Dr. Peter Jahrling, a virologist for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who butts heads with Nancy Jaax over the best way to contain the virus; Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) as Dr. Wade Carter, Nancy’s vital ally in the race to prevent the virus from spreading; James D’Arcy (Homeland) as Travis Rhodes, a Center for Disease Control official and Carter’s former assistant and current nemesis; and Paul James (The Path) as Ben Gellis, a lab tech at the pathology lab in Reston, Virginia, assisting Nancy Jaax and Dr. Jahrling.
Episode 1 – Arrival
Airs Monday, May 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic and Showcase
Lt. Col. Nancy Jaax is a wife and mother of two, with one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Every day, she dons layers of protective gear and enters the Biosafety Level 4 lab at USAMRIID, where she handles the world’s deadliest viruses. On a fall day in 1989, when she arrives at work, she tests a sample and fears it may be in the deadliest category of viruses, known as filoviruses. Even more unnerving is the location it came from — a monkey research facility 20 miles from the nation’s capital. When a breach in the lab causes the samples to be lost, it’s Jaax’s instincts against the world.