Nat Geo renews The Hot Zone for a second season

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Dr. Nancy Jaax (Julianna Margulies) in the National Geographic scripted miniseries The Hot Zone, based on Richard Prestonâ's bestseller about the Ebola virus in the U.S. in 1989. (National Geographic/Amanda Matlovich)
Dr. Nancy Jaax (Julianna Margulies) in the National Geographic scripted miniseries The Hot Zone, based on Richard Prestonâ's bestseller about the Ebola virus in the U.S. in 1989. (National Geographic/Amanda Matlovich)
  • The Hot Zone on National Geographic has been renewed for a second season.
  • The first season starred Julianna Margulies and chronicled the discovery of the Ebola virus in Africa.
  • The second season will focus on the anthrax attacks in America in 2001, which killed five people.


National Geographic (DStv 181/StarSat 220) has renewed The Hot Zone for a second season that will cover the anthrax attacks in America in 2001.

The show was initially billed as a limited series with the first season that was broadcast in 2019 starring Julianna Margulies and chronicled the discovery of the Ebola virus in Africa.

Several sections of the first season set in various African countries were filmed in South Africa with a large South African cast, with Moonlighting Films that provided production services and crew in South Africa.

READ MORE | The Hot Zone: The hair-raising true story about a virus outbreak kept secret that will make you never want to touch your face again

Kelly Sounders and Brian Peterson both return as showrunners and executive producers, with Touchstone Television, a division of Disney Television Studios, and Scott Free Productions producing.

The second season will tell the story of how letters of deadly anthrax – white powder – were sent to victims in Florida, Washington DC and in New York in America in which five people died and caused panic throughout the United States.

While letters started showing up, FBI agents and the country's justice department started tracking and tracing suspects.

"The gripping, propulsive story of the hunt for the anthrax killer who terrorized the country in the dark days that followed the September 11 attack couldn't be more timely," says Carolyn Bernstein, National Geographic's executive vice president for global scripted content and documentary films.

"As the world battles Covid-19, another deadly and mysterious virus, The Hot Zone: Anthrax is a scientific thriller for our time."

Sounders says "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". 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."

David W. Zucker, Scott Free Television president, says "After a terrific collaboration with our friends at National Geographic on The Hot Zone, we couldn't be more excited to be back in business with the same stellar team for another season".

"All of us well remember the anthrax attacks in 2001, which rocked and terrified the country. We're eager to tell this extraordinary story of all the drama that unfolded to overcome the attacks and identify the perpetrator."

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