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The true horrors of this world aren’t zombies, monsters, or even possessed dolls—the real killers throughout history are diseases. Based on the 1994 Richard Prestone novel, which examined Ebola, AIDS, and other extremely dangerous health threats, The Hot Zone brings the real-life nightmare of a potential outbreak to life in its National Geographic miniseries.
Dr. Nancy Jax (Julianna Margulies) works at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute, which contains every known virus on earth. She accidentally infects herself with Ebola, which coincides with another outbreak outside the facility. The mishap is followed by a nationwide attempt to keep the outbreak secret to prevent panic, while the experts try to cut the disease off at the neck before it spreads. It causes cataclysmic levels of death and suffering.
Seriously, who needs chainsaw-wielding psychopaths when you’ve got Ebola and inside jobs? This three-night TV event is sure to be half thriller, half cautionary tale.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch The Hot Zone online for free
The Hot Zone cast
- Julianna Margulies as Dr. Nancy Jaax
- Noah Emmerich as Lt. Col. Jerry Jaax
- Liam Cunningham as Wade Carter
- Topher Grace as Dr. Peter Jahrling
- Paul James as Ben Gellis
- Nick Searcy as Frank Mays
- Robert Wisdom as Col. Vernon Tucker
- Robert Sean Leonard as Walter Humboldt
- Grace Gummer as Melinda Rhodes
- Lenny Platt as Sgt. Kyle Ormond
- James D’Arcy as Trevor Rhodes
When does The Hot Zone air?
The first episode of The Hot Zone miniseries premieres on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, at 9pm ET. The six-episode miniseries will air over the course of three nights. (That’s two episodes per night.)
What channel is The Hot Zone on?
The Hot Zone airs on National Geographic.
How to watch The Hot Zone for free
National Geographic is available on a handful of the major live TV streaming services. When trying to decide which one is best for you, you’ll want to weigh the cost, the other channels you’ll receive, and the compatible devices for streaming. Thankfully, no matter which service you pick, you’ll start with a one-week trial, so you can watch The Hot Zone for free.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
For a more à la carte service, look to Sling TV. It offers two cable packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, both of which cost $25 per month. National Geographic is available on Sling Blue packages. If you grab them both (Sling Orange + Blue) you can save $10 per month. Sling Blue offers more bang for your buck with over 40 channels, including sports necessities like FS1, NBCSN, and NFL Network. You’ll also gain access to the usual cable mainstays like Food Network, Discovery, Cartoon Network, SYFY, and FXX. Here’s the complete guide to Sling TV channels.
- Cost: $44.95 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV is one of the most popular ways to stream live TV, perhaps because you gain access to a massive library of on-demand content including classic and current TV shows, movies, not to mention Hulu’s original programming. As far as live-streaming goes, you’ll have almost 60 channels to flip through, including HGTV, a full suite of ESPN channels, Cartoon Network, FX, and even deep cuts like Nat Geo Wild and Syfy. Here’s the complete list of Hulu Live TV channels.
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- Cost:$44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you have a PS4 and are into the idea of having your gaming and streaming needs met in the same place, PlayStation Vue is made for you. Jumping from your favorite game to your favorite show is seamless, and controlling it is as intuitive as playing an actual game. Your PS4 controller is your remote, after all. Still, you don’t need a PS4 to enjoy this service. You can also use a Roku, Amazon Fire devices, and even Kodi. Plus, you’ll get awesome channels like AMC, BBC America, Bravo, and of course, National Geographic in PlayStation Vue’s entry-level package. One subscription works with up to five devices, all with unlimited cloud DVR storage, which makes it one of the most binge-friendly solutions. (Here are all of PlayStation Vue channels.)
- Cost: $44.99 for your first month and $54.99 per month thereafter (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS, the CW (in some markets) (check local availability here)
FuboTV was built from the ground up with sports fans in mind. There are different channel packages available whether you’re looking for basketball, soccer, golf, and even outdoor sports like rock climbing. But no worries, all the great cable channels you’re after are present too, including Viceland, Bravo, TBS, and IFC. Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.
5) YouTube TV
- Cost: $49.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV,Android TV, Xbox One, iOS, and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
YouTube TV is a great solution for families because one subscription can add up to six accounts. Each account comes with unlimited cloud DVR. There are sports channels like NBCSN, NBA TV, and four ESPN channels. Disney, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Cartoon Network will keep any kid (or kid at heart) busy for hours. It also comes with a few Spanish-language channels like Telemundo and NBC Universo. AMC, BBC America, and IFC are there too, so you won’t miss out on all that prestige TV. (You can find the full list of YouTube TV channels here.)
How to watch The Hot Zone episodes
Many cable channels let you live stream directly from their site, and National Geographic is no different. Simply go to the channel’s website, select a video to watch, and them fill in your login information from the above services when prompted. Unfortunately, Sling TV won’t work for this.
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Jaime Carillo is a writer for Pure Nintendo and a plucky YouTube cook. He specializes in writing about console gaming and kitchen gadgets. It comes naturally, considering he's either wielding a massive cleaver or Switch Pro controller at any given point. When he's not cruising through a drive-thru at 2am, he's baking shokupan or whipping up a big pot of Japanese curry. He enjoys retro gaming, geopolitics, and Vic Berger videos.