Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Former ER executive producers John Wells and Jack Orman are reuniting with NBC for a new high-profile medical drama project. The network has given a pilot production commitment to Outbreak, an hourlong series based on the hit 1995 Warner Bros feature directed by Wolfgang Petersen and starring Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman and Rene Russo (check out the trailer below for a refresher). This marks one of the biggest commitments to a drama project so far this development cycle.

Co-written by Wells and Orman, Outbreak is described as a medical thriller that follows an ensemble of characters as they race to contain a lethal virus before it becomes a global pandemic. Warner Bros TV and studio-based John Wells Prods are producing, with Wells, Orman and JWP’s Andrew Stearn executive producing. I hear Gail Katz, who was a producer on the movie, also is expected to be involved in some producing capacity. This marks Wells’ first co-writing stint since another adaptation, Shameless, which continues its successful run on Showtime. Released in March 1995, Outbreak spent three weekends atop the boxoffice en route to grossing $190 million on a $50 million budget. Wells and Orman are with CAA.

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