Harnessing a perfect storm of high-concept apocalyptic premises, movie-to-TV-adaptations, ’90s nostalgia, and boilerplate medical drama, NBC has given a pilot production commitment to Outbreak, based on the 1995 film of the same name. The series marks a reunion with former ER showrunner John Wells, who will oversee another ensemble medical show set in a world ravaged by pandemic—in this case an actual viral one, rather than the usual medical drama pandemic of hot doctors who can’t find someone to love them. Presumably that sort of thing will factor into this show too, though—as in the movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, and most importantly to NBC, the monkey from Friends—such concerns will rank at least second to tracking and eradicating an Ebola-like disease, lest it kill everyone before they can find someone to love them.
As germaphobes who read entertainment news through their plastic-wrapped laptops can tell you, this announcement comes only six months after Steven Soderbergh was considering a TV version of Contagion, and only weeks after Syfy picked up a pilot based on 12 Monkeys. With Outbreak added to that list, this officially confirms that germ-ridden monkeys are headed straight into our homes, so we should probably just burn them down, because that’s the only way to be sure.