James Patterson’s Zoo Goes Straight To Series With CBS


When best-selling author James Patterson published his novel Zoo with Michael Ledwidge in 2012, they instantly had another hit on their hands. With 4 million copies selling worldwide, the rights were quickly snapped up by producer Cathy Konrad (Girl, Interrupted), with a view to creating a feature film. Those plans have now evolved, and Zoo will become a TV series for CBS.

Global in scope, Zoo depicts the world under siege from a wave of violent animal attacks against humans. As the international situation escalates, a young biologist is thrust to the forefront of the battle – working to investigate the pandemic before it is too late for humanity. CBS has ordered the project straight to series, with 13 episodes headed our way in summer 2015.

The adaptation is co-written by Jeff Pinkner (Fringe), Josh Appelbaum (Life On Mars), Andre Nemec (Star-Crossed) and Scott Rosenberg (Life On Mars). The scribes will also executive produce the drama with Patterson himself, Cathy Konrad, James Mangold (Walk The Line), Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Steve Bowen.

The commissioning of Zoo as a series continues a dramatic CBS line-up for summer 2015 which is bang-on trend. It has a police procedural with a twist, in the Poppy Montgomery starring Unforgettable, a spooky sci-fi drama in the Halle Berry starring Extant, a high concept conspiracy thriller with the returning Under The Dome, and the ever-present reality flagship show, Big Brother. All that was missing was something apocalyptic, and that’s just what Zoo brings to the table.

It’s on-trend, but with a different take – there are no zombies (like The Walking Dead), no human-infecting pathogens (like The Strain, or Helix), and no aliens (like Falling Skies). Here, the threat is from the animal kingdom, which gives the opportunity for musings on the way we dominate the other species that share our planet. Or, maybe it will just provide some cool action scenes and special effects. All will be revealed – eventually – as Zoo heads toward production.