Zoo TV Series: 13 Things to Know about CBS' Upcoming Show (2023)

By Christina Radish

(Video) TV Series 'Zoo' Returns On CBS

Stars James Wolk, Nonso Anozie, Nora Arnezeder, author James Patterson,and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and Cathy Konrad talk about the upcoming CBS series.

Zoo TV Series: 13 Things to Know about CBS' Upcoming Show (1)
(Video) Zoo Series Premiere Sneak Peek

Based on the best-selling novel by James Patterson, the CBS drama series Zoo is a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans. When these strange animal attacks occur, Jackson Oz (James Wolk) is an American zoologist who sees a link between them and his late father’s controversial theories about impending threats to the human race. And as the assaults become more ferocious and calculating, he is forced to unlock the mystery of what’s happening before there’s no place left for people to hide.

During a panel at the CBS Summer Junket, to discuss the network’s summer programming, actors James Wolk, Nonso Anozie and Nora Arnezeder, along with author James Patterson and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and Cathy Konrad, talked about how this story originated, what made it a good fit for a TV show, why this series adaptation just might be better than the book itself, making a five-character ensemble(which also includes Billy Burke and Kristen Connolly), having a rough plan for five seasons, using real animals, shooting everything in New Orleans, and whether the show is appropriate for younger viewers. From the panel, we’ve compiled a list of 13 things you should know about the upcoming series, Zoo.

  • Zoo TV Series: 13 Things to Know about CBS' Upcoming Show (2)
    (Video) James Patterson & Cast Members Discuss New CBS Series "Zoo"
    According to executive producer Jeff Pinkner, “Zoo originated in the incredibly fertile mind of James Patterson, and it is essentially the story of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, if you use the landscape of the entire world and the entire animal kingdom, and the animals have decided that they’ve had enough and it’s time to fight back. A team of people come to suspect what might be happening, and they go on a journey around the world to try to find out what is happening with the animals and why, and potentially how to stop it or reverse it.”
  • Best-selling author James Patterson (who is an EP on the series) said that he got the idea for the book this series is adapted from when he kept seeing stories about odd behavior around the world, with alligators in Florida, crocodiles doing weird things in Africa, and fish jumping into boats in Michigan. That spurred him into wondering, “Why is this going on, and is there a novel here?”
  • EP Cathy Konrad was originally looking to turn this story into a scaled back feature film on the level of Cloverfield or District 9, but it became clear that there was a bigger world to explore with it. She said, “It was classic Hollywood timing. CBS has had tremendous success with Under the Dome. They’re at the forefront of event summer programming, and this had all the bones of a great Hollywood summer movie, with thrills, chills, spectacle, size and scope. The writing team had the tremendous ambition and courage to take on how to make this 13 episodes of great, taut summer fun.”
  • Patterson said that there are a lot of changes made for the series adaptation, but he’s totally good with that. “The main characters – Jackson, Chloe and Abraham – stay the same, and then they’ve added people. People always say that the book is better than the movie, and then the screenwriters say, ‘Well, we only had two hours.’ In this case, they have 13 hours, so there are no excuses. But in this case, the series is going to be better than the book.”
  • Zoo TV Series: 13 Things to Know about CBS' Upcoming Show (3)
    When asked if things will be left open at the end of the season, so that they can continue on for future seasons, Pinkner said, “We’ve concocted the headlines for five seasons of storytelling, and the first season will not end where the book ends.”
  • In regard to working with the animals and whether he’s a pet person himself, actor James Wolk said, “I have a dog. I’ve always been a dog person. She’s a shepherd mix. I’m very comfortable with dogs. This show is very eye-opening because it’s not that often, in real life, that you’re that close to a lion or a bear. We’ve had wolves on set. We’ve had rats on set. It’s been exciting.” But actor Nonso Anozie admitted to being the opposite, when he said, “I wouldn’t call myself a pet person. I’m not really an animal person. But in signing on to do Zoo, we’re working with animals. The first day I turned up, there were two live lions in front of me. It was really a baptism of fire. You have to respect animals and the way you’re supposed to behave around them. Also, the story that we tell in Zoo is almost a warning as to how we treat our environment, as well as the other life forms around us.”
  • This is a show that doesn’t use much CGI, when it comes to the animals themselves. There are a lot of real animals on set that all come with trainers and are as well-trained as wild animals can be. It’s hard to feel entirely comfortable around an 800-pound grizzly bear, but all of the proper precautions are taken. But even with all of that training, they’re still wild animals that don’t necessarily behave the way you’re expecting them to. Sometimes they even fall asleep in the middle of scenes, and everyone has to wait for them to wake up.
  • Wolk most enjoys the reluctant hero aspect of his character. “Jackson Oz is forced to be a hero in this story because he’s thrown into that, but he’s a very reluctant hero. He doesn’t look at himself that way. He doesn’t view himself as heroic. I think it’s fun to play a character that has some reluctance, stepping into that role, but because of the environment around him and what’s going on, he’s forced to go on that journey.”
  • Actress Nora Arnezeder likes that her character empowers herself without being a superhero. She said, “I like that my character, Chloe Tousignant, is a winner. She’s a leader, but she’s not a superhero. She’s willing to empower herself and empower the people around her. She’s a very inspiring character, and she inspires me, fully.”
  • Pinkner said that this is an ensemble show, and they work to keep it that way. “It is important to us, as we approach the writing process, week in and week out, that there are five leads. It’s very much an ensemble show. The story is being told through all of their characters’ journeys. And so, every episode is a challenge to our production crew and to the cast. It’s kept it very fun and fresh for us, and hopefully for the actors, as well.”
  • Zoo TV Series: 13 Things to Know about CBS' Upcoming Show (5)
    Although this series is shot in New Orleans, it is a global story that takes place all over the world, and the varied architecture and landscape can double for so many different places. The story travels to Africa, Tokyo, Rio, Alabama, Antarctica and Paris, as the characters travel around the world, and you’ll swear that they’re really on location, in those places. There are no standing sets on the show, and no place for people to return to. It’s a road show, which is incredibly challenging from a production point of view.
  • When asked whether this show would be too scary for younger viewers, Pinkner said, “There are far more scary shows on television than our show. Hopefully, our show is thrilling in the way that a summer popcorn movie is thrilling. It’s not meant to make you terrified of animals. It’s actually incredibly pro-animal.” And Patterson added, “It’s another one of these reminders that we humans are doing a lot of questionable things, and we need to think about it and keep being reminded, in different ways, about what we’re doing. "

Zoo premieres on CBS on June 30th.

FAQs

Why did CBS cancel Zoo? ›

“Zoo” was a success for the network when it premiered in 2015, but viewership had declined slightly in Season 3, averaging 2.7 million viewers. The news of the cancellation comes after CBS renewed “Salvation,” its only other scripted summer program, last week.

Do Jackson and Chloe get together in Zoo? ›

TVLINE | Plus, people can always buy the Zoo 2 book, as I did for a recent flight, because though largely unrelated to the series, Jackson and Chloe are happily together in that. That's a great call. If you want more Jackson and Chloe, buy the Book-Shot Zoo 2.

Why did Chloe leave the show Zoo? ›

According to TVLine, “The reason for McLellan's exit was a creative decision, seeing as her character had been compromised in the Season 2 finale, due to her association with a Homeland Security agent who turned out to be a misguided zealot.”

How does Zoo end in the book? ›

He saves the life of ecologist Chloe Tousignant. Upon returning to America, he finds his girlfriend dead in his apartment, killed and partly eaten by his pet chimpanzee. Five years later, Oz has married Chloe and they have a son named Eli.

Will Netflix pick up Zoo? ›

18 Netflix Regions Have Zoo Available For Streaming

While the show aired on CBS, the series was picked up by Netflix for multiple regions. The TV series started in 2015, after which it was renewed on an annual basis.

Does Zoo end on a cliffhanger? ›

The cast of the CBS series recently revealed the season two finale will feature a major cliffhanger, TVLine reports. The drama follows a young zoologist (James Wolk) as he tries to figure out why animals have started attacking humans.

Who does Mitch end up with on Zoo? ›

The event understandably put a major wrench in Mitch's relationship with his father and new stepmother, causing him to hold a grudge against the two for many years. At an unknown period of time, Mitch married Audra and the two had a daughter, Clementine.

Why did Robert oz inject Jackson? ›

He uncovered a lot of daddy issues instead and realized his father had injected him with the gene out of spite after Jackson, as a child, set all of his dad's research on fire. That's right, Jackson destroyed the cure and his father decided to inject him with a gene that could kill him.

Is Mitch still alive in Zoo? ›

In the Season 2 finale of Zoo, we watched through tears as Mitch Morgan sacrificed himself to prevent the hybrid animals from escaping Pangea.

Who is the traitor in Zoo? ›

Edward Collins
Portrayed by:Josh Salatin
First appearance:"Caraquet"
Latest appearance:"The Barrier"
Relevant Pages
GALLERY
19 more rows

Who is the real Clem in Zoo? ›

While trying to escape, Mitch is confronted by both Clementines. He shoots the real one who proves her identity with a memento of a parking ticket. The false Clementine is then killed by Jamie. Jackson discovers through Logan that the bomber's name is Abigail Westbrook, his biological sister.

Does Chloe come back on Zoo? ›

Chloe is later recovered by the team in Zoo season 2 episode 5, but while it seems she might recover, she later succumbs to her exposure. Chloe's death in Zoo was apparently done to shake up the dynamic of the main characters, as she was something of a calming center for the group.

What was the twist in the story Zoo? ›

Peter reveals that he is married and has two daughters. Jerry asks if Peter wanted sons, and Peter admits that he did, although Jerry assumes (correctly) that Peter will not have any more children. Peter snaps at Jerry for his invasive questions, but then apologizes for his outburst.

Does the TV show Zoo follow the book? ›

Both the book and TV series seem to have the same starting point: Jackson Oz rescues Chloe Tousignant from a massive lion attack in Botswana. But after that, the book seems to focus on Jackson, while the TV series follows Jackson and a team devoted to stopping the animal attacks while trying to find a cure.

How many books are in the series Zoo? ›

There are 2 books in this series. There are 2 books in this series.

What should I watch after Zoo? ›

Looking for more shows like Zoo?
...
What To Watch If You Love 'Zoo'
  • 11 1. Snowpiercer. ...
  • 13 4. Station Eleven. ...
  • 10 3. Lake Placid. ...
  • 7 1. Jaws. ...
  • 6 1. Primeval: New World. ...
  • 6 1. Y: The Last Man. ...
  • 6 1. The Rain. ...
  • 7 3. Sweet Tooth.
8 Apr 2022

Where was Zoo filmed? ›

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - The summer's newest drama to hit WAFB premieres Tuesday night at 8 p.m. James Patterson's novel, "Zoo," comes to life in the television series that is being filmed mostly in New Orleans.

Will there be another series of Zoo? ›

On October 23, 2017, Zoo was cancelled so there won't be a fourth season.

Does Jackson get cured in Zoo? ›

And with that, Jackson is cured, and the cure for the world's animals and ghost-gene-carriers is ready. The Animal Avengers make their way to Pangaea's beach to release the birds, and I actually felt a little emotional watching them fly off to save the world. This team finally did what they set out to do so long ago.

What happened to Jamie in Zoo? ›

Though the rest of the team was rescued, Jamie Campbell—along with the Zambian leopard cub—was separated from the group in a plane crash. She and the leopard were taken in by a fisherman who did not speak a word of English.

Who is Abigail's mother in Zoo? ›

Sam Parker
Status:Alive
Physical Description
Gender:Male
Relationships
Relatives:Jackson Oz (Father) Nia Oz † (Mother) Elizabeth Oz † (Grandmother) Robert Oz † (Grandfather) Minako Oz † (Step-Grandmother) Abigail Westbrook (Half-Aunt) Samuel Lewis (Son) Unnamed adoptive Father † Unnamed adoptive Mother †
17 more rows

What happened to Henry in Zoo? ›

She informs her him that her dog Henry got hit by a car but that he was okay.

Does Zoo have a ending? ›

After three seasons, CBS summer drama series Zoo is coming to an end. Zoo's run matches that of CBS' first summer drama series under the current business model, Under the Dome, with both going for three seasons.

Is Dariela pregnant on Zoo? ›

Well, here's the big twist: Robert found his son before he could even enter! Everyone's alive … for now. In other news, Dariela's pregnant! We know there were some fan theories out there about this already, and we're a little torn on the twist just because it was a tad predictable.

What disease does Clementine have in zoo? ›

"At 13 years old, Clementine was well beyond the life expectancy for a white-tailed deer," zoo officials said in a Wednesday blog post. "Her older years coupled with an ongoing kidney disease led our animal care and veterinary staff to monitor her closely for any changes in her health and well-being," the post said.

How were the animals cured in zoo? ›

Back on the jet, Jamie pressed Logan for his true name and backstory (Edward is a Wolverine fan!), while Jackson hacked into his father's email to discover that the final TX gas formula Robert sent Davies contained the same element that sterilized the mutated animals back in 1895.

Is Jackson's dad alive in zoo? ›

Robert Oz is a recurring character in Zoo, he is deceased but is shown through recordings. He is the father of Jackson Oz. He was a famous professor and a scientist who had many theories about animal behavior.

Who is Abendegos Zoo? ›

This hybrid is baboon-like, that is able to speak with few words. Most notably the word “Jackson.” He was created as a hybrid between Abigail Westbrooks DNA and that of an ape during the events of Season 2 at Pangaea. His origin was not revealed until the episode Oz is Oz.

Does Mitch give away the mother cell? ›

The man forks over the drugs; Mitch pulls out the Mother Cell (just pulls it right out like he's going to give it to him with no backup plan or trickery!); and then Mitch stalls—because standing across the glass of the office he's sitting in at Reiden Global is Delavenne, casually having a conversation with other ...

What year did Zoo come out? ›

Zoo premiered on June 30, 2015, on CBS. CBS renewed the series for a third season in August 2016, which aired between June 29 and September 21, 2017. On October 23, 2017, CBS announced the series had been cancelled after three seasons.

What is the mother cell in zoo? ›

The Mother Cell is a vector molecule that Reiden Global used in all of its products. The molecule caused rapid mutations in the animal kingdom, and eventually some humans as well. It also caused major changes to the natural balance, forcing animals to no longer eat each other, and istead feed exclusively on humans.

Who is the father of clems baby? ›

Samuel Lewis is a character in Zoo. He is the newborn son of Clementine Lewis and Sam Parker. Samuel, or Sam for short, is named after is father.
...
Samuel Lewis.
Status:Alive
Physical Description
Gender:Male
Relationships
13 more rows

Who is Dylan Green in Zoo? ›

Jackson Oz
Jackson Oz
Character
Biographical Information
Full Name:Jackson Oz
Nicknames:Rafiki Dylan Green (alias)
25 more rows

How many seasons does Zoo have? ›

Who is Chloe in Zoo? ›

Nora Arnezeder: Chloe Tousignant

Jump to: Photos (50)

Is there a 4th season of Zoo? ›

Watch The Zoo Season 4 | Prime Video.

Who is Nia Oz? ›

Nia Oz is the late wife of Jackson Oz and the late mother of Sam Parker.

What is the secret code in Zoo Story? ›

puggy — Redeem this code to get 150 Leaves. 300 — Redeem this code to get 100 Leaves. Eggs — Redeem this code to get 100 Leaves.

What is the symbolic significance of Jerry's death? ›

We may deduce, then, that Jerry's suicide was meant to bring recognition of the world to him. He lived with no human love, care, and recognition, so he hoped that his suicide would call the attention of the world that he, as a human being, did exist.

What is absurd with The Zoo Story? ›

The Zoo Story is an absurd play. It explores the life situation of the modern man, the pointless and absurdity of human situation. The overall breakdown of values, the other incapacity for creative action and the ennui of routine life are seen as the manifestations of the malaise of the modern man.

How many episodes of Zoo are there? ›

What is Zoo rated on Netflix? ›

TV Details
  • Premiere date: June 30, 2015.
  • Cast: James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Billy Burke.
  • Network: CBS.
  • Genre: Drama.
  • Topics: Book Characters, Wild Animals.
  • TV rating: TV-14.
  • Last updated: August 31, 2022.

Where can I watch the series Zoo? ›

Zoo - Watch on Paramount Plus.

Does Jackson oz mutate? ›

On CBS' Zoo (Tuesdays at 9/8c), James Wolk's Jackson Oz is one wild and crazy guy — especially now that he is halfway through his mutant transformation.

What is the order of the Secret Zoo series? ›

Secret Zoo Series

What book is Zoo based off of? ›

The network said “Zoo,” based on the 2012 thriller by author James Patterson, would consist of 13 episodes and was given a straight-to-series order. The series looks at the fallout from a wave of violent animal attacks against humans across the planet.

Does Zoo have a season 4? ›

Watch The Zoo Season 4 | Prime Video.

What should I watch after Zoo? ›

Looking for more shows like Zoo?
...
What To Watch If You Love 'Zoo'
  • 11 1. Snowpiercer. ...
  • 13 4. Station Eleven. ...
  • 10 3. Lake Placid. ...
  • 7 1. Jaws. ...
  • 6 1. Primeval: New World. ...
  • 6 1. Y: The Last Man. ...
  • 6 1. The Rain. ...
  • 7 3. Sweet Tooth.
8 Apr 2022

Has Animal Planet Zoo been renewed? ›

The Zoo: Season Five; Animal Planet Series Renewed, Returning Next Month (Watch) Animal Planet is bringing back The Zoo for a fifth season, and viewers will not have long to wait for the new episodes. The documentary series highlights the work done at the Bronx Zoo.

How many seasons of Zoo is there? ›

Does Chloe come back to life in Zoo? ›

Chloe is later recovered by the team in Zoo season 2 episode 5, but while it seems she might recover, she later succumbs to her exposure. Chloe's death in Zoo was apparently done to shake up the dynamic of the main characters, as she was something of a calming center for the group.

Will there be another series of Zoo? ›

On October 23, 2017, Zoo was cancelled so there won't be a fourth season.

How many episodes of Zoo are there? ›

Is the zoo returning to TV? ›

Series Spotlights the Bronx Zoo's Groundbreaking Work in Animal Care and Welfare, Conservation and Education. New York – Sept. 24, 2021 – The world-famous Bronx Zoo returns to Animal Planet, showcasing more incredible stories of remarkable animals and the dedicated staff who care for them.

What zoo is the zoo filmed at? ›

This show is filmed at Paignton Zoo, Devon, UK.

Where is the show the zoo filmed? ›

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - The summer's newest drama to hit WAFB premieres Tuesday night at 8 p.m. James Patterson's novel, "Zoo," comes to life in the television series that is being filmed mostly in New Orleans.

Why did Robert oz inject Jackson? ›

He uncovered a lot of daddy issues instead and realized his father had injected him with the gene out of spite after Jackson, as a child, set all of his dad's research on fire. That's right, Jackson destroyed the cure and his father decided to inject him with a gene that could kill him.

Does Jackson get cured in Zoo? ›

And with that, Jackson is cured, and the cure for the world's animals and ghost-gene-carriers is ready. The Animal Avengers make their way to Pangaea's beach to release the birds, and I actually felt a little emotional watching them fly off to save the world. This team finally did what they set out to do so long ago.

Is the TV show Zoo based on a book? ›

The network said “Zoo,” based on the 2012 thriller by author James Patterson, would consist of 13 episodes and was given a straight-to-series order. The series looks at the fallout from a wave of violent animal attacks against humans across the planet.

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