3:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Julianna Margulies to Star in Scripted Ebola Miniseries for National Geographic
National Geographic continues to bulk up its original programming.
The cable network, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and National Geographic, used its time at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour to announce Julianna Margulies as the star of its Ebola scripted miniseries, as well as a travel show featuring Gordon Ramsay and a science docuseries hosted by Jeff Goldblum.
The Hot Zone, which was picked up to series in April and is set during 1989 in Washington, D.C., will see The Good Wife grad and current star of AMC's Dietland play Dr. Nancy Jaax, a U.S. Army scientist working with a secret military SWAT team who puts her life on the line to head off an Ebola outbreak before it can spread to the human population.
The series, based on the best-seller of the same name by Richard Preston, hails from Lynda Obst Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson, Jeff Vintar and Ridley Scott's Scott Free banner. The series reunites Margulies with The Good Wife producers at Scott Free.
"Julianna is dream casting for the role of Dr. Nancy Jaax,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vp global scripted development and production at National Geographic. “Her rare combination of warmth, strength, humor and intelligence are the perfect recipe to make this terrifying true story feel relatable, grounded and human. The Hot Zone is the perfect example of National Geographic’s commitment to premium, brand-relevant storytelling that is at once wildly entertaining and deepens people’s understanding of the world.”
The Hot Zone is National Geographic's latest scripted foray. It joins Emmy-nominated anthology Genius, already renewed for a third season, and the upcoming miniseries Valley of the Boom.
Margulies is repped by WME.
National Geographic on Wednesday also announced Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, a series that combines the TV personality's passion for exploration and food competition. Ramsay will star and produce the series, from Studio Ramsay and All3Media, which will debut in 2019. Each episode of the series will include what Nat Geo said is three key ingredients: unlocking a culture's culinary secrets through exploration and adventure with local food heroes, tracking down high-octane traditions and customs specific to the region, and pitting Ramsay against locals for his interpretations of regional dishes.
In addition, Nat Geo announced the series pickup for The Curiosity of Jeff Goldblum, a 12-part docuseries featuring the Jurassic Park star embarking on a journey across the globe to uncover the stories behind the world's most "ordinary" things.