Amanda Matlovich/National Geographic
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December 20, 2018 at 01:30 PM EST

Saint Alicia is heading into the danger zone.

Julianna Margulies, who fans of The Good Wife knew and loved as attorney Alicia Florrick, will appear next spring in National Geographic’s adaptation of The Hot Zone, the 1994 nonfiction best-seller by Richard Preston. In this six-part adaptation, Margulies plays Nancy Jaax, an Army scientist engaged in a race to contain the Ebola virus after it’s been detected within a group of imported monkeys in a Virginia research facility. And EW has the first look!

The Hot Zone tells the story of the origins of Ebola, a deadly virus from the central African rain forest that arrived on U.S. soil in 1989. Jaax, together with a secret, specialized team, put her life on the line to head off the outbreak before it spread to the population.

Margulies — who costars with Noah Emmerich, Topher Grace, James D’Arcy, and Robert Sean Leonard in the Lynda Obst Productions and Scott Free Productions series — was especially committed to authenticity when it came to depicting an infectious-diseases specialist in those terrifying times, starting with donning a 50-pound rubber hazmat suit. Realistic it may have been, but camera-ready it wasn’t: Margulies says it was impossible to hear what her fellow actors said because the suit was so thick, to say nothing of how cumbersome it was to actually move in. 

“My respect quadrupled for people who run the CDC, just by putting on the suit itself,” Margulies tells EW. “These people are our heroes. They put their lives on the line.”

The Hot Zone is expected to premiere in May.

To read more on 2019’s most anticipated TV shows and movies, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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