'Outbreak' TV Series to Infect NBC, from 'E.R.' Executive Producers

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Mid-90's Dustin Hoffman-Morgan Freeman virus thriller 'Outbreak' may have inspired the 'Friends' classic gag 'Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan,' but seventeen years later, the joke is all-too-real. NBC has officially begun development of an 'Outbreak' TV series based on the 1995 thriller of the same name, as written by the former team behind 'E.R.' Quick, someone call Crystal the monkey!

Deadline first broke news of the Wolfgang Petersen virology thriller's move to TV, clarifying that Former 'E.R.' executive producers John Wells and Jack Orman will both produce the drama and co-write the script for a pilot production commitment, with original 'Outbreak' producer Gail Katz likely involved in some capacity.

Whereas the original 1995 'Outbreak' (featuring supporting performances from Kevin Spacey, Rene Russo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Donald Sutherland and more) focused on the specific outbreak of the "Motaba" virus in a small town, NBC's adaptation is described more generally as "a medical thriller that follows an ensemble of characters as they race to contain a lethal virus before it becomes a global pandemic."

Considering the movie spent three weeks atop the box office to the tune of $190 million overall, we'd imagine a TV version could well succeed among the pantheon of medical dramas. It wouldn't prove out of the question to imagine any of the original cast taking part in the 'Outbreak' TV series either, as Dustin Hoffman showed an interest in the small screen for HBO's 'Luck,' while Cuba Gooding Jr. has taken...shall we say, "eclectic" roles over the years. Cast Matt LeBlanc as a dying dead man, and we're sold!

Check out the original 'Outbreak' trailer below, and tell us if you'd be interested to see if NBC's TV adaptation catches on!

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