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National Geographic Channel Orders Ebola Virus Drama ‘The Hot Zone’

National Geographic Channel has given a series order to a scripted drama from producers Ridley Scott and Lynda Obst about the origins of the Ebola virus.

The project was unveiled Wednesday afternoon in advance of National Geographic’s upfront presentation to advertisers in New York. “The Hot Zone,” based on the book by Richard Preston, tells the story of a U.S. Army veterinarian who put her life on the line in an effort to stop a broader outbreak of the disease in Washington, D.C. in 1989. The series hails from Fox 21 Television Studios, Scott Free Prods. and Lynda Obst Prods.

“Hot Zone” is the latest addition to Nat Geo’s scripted roster that aims to deliver event series that complement the channel’s depth in factual and documentary programming. It comes on the heels of a warm reception for the “Genius” anthology series and the military drama “The Long Road Home.” Nat Geo previously gave a series order to a narrative look at the origins of the tech industry in Silicon Valley with “Valley of the Boom,” from producers Matthew Carnahan and Arianna Huffington.

“We’ve proved we can make noise in a crowded marketplace by utilizing the premium power of the National Geographic brand and working with the right talent,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks.

“The projects we’re announcing today are proof of how far we’ve come in such a short time,” says Carolyn Bernstein, Nat Geo’s exec VP of global scripted development and production.

Other projects on the Nat Geo development slate:

HIDDEN FIGURES (From Chernin Entertainment and Pharrell Williams)

Inspired by the Oscar-nominated hit movie, the anthology series HIDDEN FIGURES will tell the stories of people whose contributions to science, technology and innovation have been overlooked by history. In the same way the feature film centered on a group of women who were the unsung heroes of the space program, each season of the anthology series will shine a light on someone whose important contributions have been unjustly marginalized.

THE WHITE HOUSE DETAIL (From Platinum Dunes, Chuck Hogan, Elyse Klaits and Consultants/Co-Authors Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin)

THE WHITE HOUSE DETAIL is an unprecedented insider’s look at the personal and professional lives of the U.S. Secret Service agents assigned to protect the president and the first family beginning with the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy. Based on the firsthand account of the Secret Service’s most iconic agent, Clint Hill, who served under five U.S. presidents and who is best known for leaping onto the back of JFK’s limousine during the assassination in Dallas.

TEN BORDERS (From Paramount Television, Scott Free Productions, Tom McCarthy and Greg Walker)

TEN BORDERS is a six-part limited series centered on five unrelated individuals who are inexorably pulled into one another’s lives through the mass exodus of humanity from wartorn Syria to the safe refuge of Sweden. Through multiple points of view we will embark on an emotional journey with everyday characters who become part of the greatest human migration in the past thousand years. They are not partisans, revolutionaries, soldiers or spies; they are ordinary people thrust into urgent and extraordinary circumstances whose paths cross in surprising and unexpected ways as they make the perilous trek to freedom, their lives overturned and changed forever.

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