Reel TV: 'Outbreak' and 'Les Miserables' Are Both Heading to TV

Reel TV: 'Outbreak' and 'Les Miserables' Are Both Heading to TV

Aug 30, 2013

We're usually the first in line for a deadly contagion tale, though it's been a while since we watched the 1995 film Outbreak, starring Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Morgan Freeman. Now Wolfgang Petersen's story of deadly viruses and government coverups is being adapted for the small screen. Deadline has the news about John Wells and Jack Orman's new medical thriller (they're the producers behind ER). As long as someone dies in every episode we might be OK with this project (also: monkeys), but without the great cast behind the story it's feeling a little flat. C'mon NBC, give us something new.

Rob Thomas figured he wasn't busy enough with his newly funded Veronica Mars project, so he asked actor-writer Graham Norris to pen a television drama adapting Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables. It's a contemporary twist on the tale of strife and redemption, about a "brilliant lawyer running a legal exoneration program who fights to evade the consequences of his own unjust conviction many years before. He must navigate high society, continue his mission of saving innocent people, and manage his tumultuous family and romantic life — all while staying one step ahead of a ruthless U.S. attorney who refuses to let the ghosts of the past die." Deadline indicates that Thomas is executive producing.

Hollywood just treated us to an adaptation of the epic drama, directed by Tom Hooper, with an A-list ensemble cast, including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. Reviews were mixed, with some critics calling it bombastic and others praising the film's emotional rawness (especially Hathaway's performance as Fantine). Are audiences really hungry for another updating of Les Misérables, and is the contemporary setting, sans musical performances, the right direction to take or a little too left field?

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