• Are You Ready for Ebola: The TV Show?

    Television dramas about apocalyptic outbreaks are all the rage these days. The Walking Dead — a series about a virus that wipes out most of humanity and replaces it with flesh-eating zombies — just began its fifth season on AMC. With massive ratings that included 17.3 million pairs of eyeballs viewing the most recent episode, it is without a doubt the most-watched drama in basic cable’s history. And then there’s newcomer The Strain over at FX, which mashes up zombies with vampires and focuses on a CDC director’s battle to contain another virus that does things so graphic to the human body, you might lose your lunch if I even described them.

    But apparently, the “monsters” aspect of the aforementioned shows makes them a tad unrealistic. So, banking on the idea that TV watchers are in need of something that reminds them a bit more of the horrors of our actual world, Lynda Obst and Ridley Scott are developing what can only be described as an Ebola television show. To be fair, the upcoming Fox series is actually based on Richard Preston’s 1994 best-selling novel “The Hot Zone,” but there’s no doubt that recent events have convinced producers to strike while the iron is hot. The novel’s author is even writing a New Yorker piece to be published next week that chronicles the current Ebola outbreak, and the plan is to work that article directly into the show.

    Putting aside questions of poor taste or not, the limited run series will most definitely be timely. “I think it’s the speed with which [Ebola] kills that makes the disease so frightening,” Obst told The Hollywood Reporter. “People hoped it would stay in some remote part of the world. But that’s a fantasy in the modern world. The modern world makes us one big connected family.”

    What do you think? Will you watch this one, or does it sort of defeat the purpose of using television as escapism? Does it reek of desperation, or are TV viewers thirsting for more “ripped from the headlines” stories on the small screen? Sound off below.

    Matt Fox

    Senior Editor

    Fox has history in broadcasting that spans two decades. From his early days as an FM host and club DJ in the mid-90′s to his later experiences in political talk radio, he has always had a knack for combining topical news with his love for popular culture. Those experiences culminated in his position as executive producer for several radio shows featured in the TALKERS Heavy 100. Originally from New York, Fox has made the great pilgrimage down to sunny south Florida.

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