ABC options “Plague,” plans dramatic miniseries

ABC Studios has optioned the rights to director David France's Oscar-nominated doc How To Survive A Plague (pictured), with a view towards turning it into a dramatic miniseries.
February 28, 2013

ABC is looking to turn the Oscar-nominated documentary How To Survive A Plague  (pictured) into a dramatic miniseries.

The U.S. broadcaster’s production division, ABC Studios, has optioned the rights to the film, the broadcaster said in a statement, with the goal of turning it into a miniseries to be executive produced by director David France, and producers Howard Gertler and John Lyons. The project is in development now.

Plague uses primarily archival footage to tell the story of New York City activist coalitions ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), which successfully pressured U.S. government officials and pharmaceutical executives to respond more effectively to the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and ’90s. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and received a North American theatrical run last fall.

A critical favorite, it went on after its premiere to win the Gotham Award for best documentary, and will be released in British cinemas this spring through Dartmouth films.

Last fall, realscreen interviewed France, a veteran print journalist-turned-filmmaker, about the making of How to Survive A Plague. Read that story here.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty