NBC is following TNT, AMC and Syfy into plague territory, giving a 10-episode, straight-to-series order to an untitled outbreak drama from the impressive duo of The Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore (pictured) and World War Z director Marc Forster.
The series opens on a woman who falls victim to a mysterious illness. This patient zero and her family are swept up in a global pandemic that could threaten all of humanity. Meanwhile, an FBI agent puts his sanity at risk pursuing the perpetrators of a seemingly unrelated terror attack. How humanity responds to the grave threat, in ways both respectable and detestable, is a particular focus of the ambitious drama.
Moore, whose candid Oscar acceptance speech for his Imitation Game script earned the first-time scribe a book deal and the admiration of millions, created the drama and will both write it and exec-produce alongside Forster, who is also attached to direct.
NBC has been generous with straight-to-series orders of late. The Peacock Network also recently greenlit full seasons of Heroes: Reborn, Aquarius (which premiered last night then dropped all its episodes online), Coach, Emerald City, Hot & Bothered and Manhunt.
No production date or planned premiere was given for the untitled series, but NBC likely wants to get it out there while outbreak dramas are still big with viewers. The Walking Dead has been a smash hit for AMC, so much so that the network is premiering spinoff Fear the Walking Dead this August. Meanwhile, The CW is aiming to tap into that success with upcoming epidemic thriller Containment (ordered to series). Viewers are still responding to the apocalypse in many different forms (take Fox’s comedy The Last Man on Earth as an example of that), and NBC is evidently banking on that wind not changing any time soon.