NatGeo Picks Up ACT UP Miniseries Based On "How To Survive A Plague"

"This medical thriller about the community that fought AIDS... is the perfect fit for National Geographic,"

How To Survive A Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, the acclaimed memoir by activist David France, is being turned into a scripted miniseries for National Geographic, with Scott Rudin serving as executive producer.

Announced at NatGeo's presentation last month at the TCA, the miniseries charts the founding of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), the development of underground markets for effective medications, and the struggle to get the FDA to fast-track drug approvals that would usually take 7 to 10 years. (At the time, the only drug available was AZT, which had toxic side effects and cost $10,000 a year.)

“This medical thriller about the community that fought AIDS through its own form of grassroots advocacy and scientific research is the perfect fit for National Geographic,” said network CEO Courteney Monroe, “With Scott and his team, we are honored to develop David France’s incredible book into a groundbreaking scripted series.”

France, a journalist who covered AIDS from its beginnings, also directed the award-winning 2012 documentary version of How to Survive and will executive-produce the mini. No casting decisions or airdates have been announced.

This month, NatGeo aired Gender Revolution, a groundbreaking look at gender identity and expression, hosted by Katie Couric. But the network is banking on scripted series in the future, like the new anthology series Genius, which will focus in its premiere season on Albert Einstein, played by Geoffrey Rush.

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