Nat Geo Sets New Ridley Scott Scripted Series ‘The Hot Zone’

National Geographic will team with famed director Ridley Scott on a new scripted series, part of several new scripted and documentary series announced Wednesday as part of the network's “further front” presentation in New York. 

New scripted series include The Hot Zone, based on the international bestseller by Richard Preston and executive produced by Ridley Scott, which  recounts the true story of the Ebola virus, said network officials.

The Hot Zone joins the previously announced, Silicon Valley-themed series Valley of the Boom as new shows on the network’s scripted series lineup, which also includes returning series Genius -- which Wednesday was renewed for a third season that will focus on Frankenstein author Mary Shelly -- and Mars, which will return for its sophomore campaign later this year.

Other scripted series in development include Hidden Figures, an anthology series inspired by the Oscar-nominated movie that profiles people whose contributions to science, technology and innovation have been overlooked by history; The White House Detail, an inside look at the personal and professional lives of U.S.Secret Service agents; and Ten Borders, 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 war torn Syria to the safe refuge of Sweden. 

"Hostile Planet" is one of several new series airing on National Geographic

"Hostile Planet" is one of several new series airing on National Geographic

Among the network’s new documentary series are Hostile Planet, a six-part series that focuses on the world’s most extreme environments to reveal the animal kingdom’s most epic stories of survival, and In Their Words, which chronicles high-profile events through vintage audio and film recordings. Among the topics explored in the series include the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the narco drug wars and the 2008 global financial crisis.

Another show, Chain Of Command: Secret Service, chronicles the exploits of the agency that protects the president of the United States, said Nat Geo.

National Geographic will also develop several live projects, including Brain Games Live, based on the Emmy-nominated show; and Yellowstone Live, a four-day event that showcased the best of the National Park’s wildlife in real time,

Other specials include Mission to the Sun and Apollo 50 Anniversary, said the network.

Phil Keoghan will host Nat Geo's 'Explorer' 

Phil Keoghan will host Nat Geo's 'Explorer' 

The new shows and specials will join returning series Cosmos: Possible Worlds; The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman; Explorer: Life Below Zero; StarTalk; Wicked Tuna and Wicked Tuna Outer Banks.

“National Geographic has become the destination for the best-in-class creatives, who want to partner with us on big, bold premium and entertaining content,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks in a statement. “Our upfront slate is evidence that our transformation is truly taking hold and reaffirms our commitment to amplify important topics that matter, to create dialogue and to use the power of storytelling to change the world.” 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.