It's an animal rampage on CBS's new summer show, 'Zoo'

"Zoo" premieres tonight, June 30, on CBS.
"Zoo" premieres tonight, June 30, on CBS.

CBS's new summer show, "Zoo," debuts Tuesday, June 30. Based on the James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge novel of the same name, the apocalyptic thriller will present a world in which animals have taken over.

Across the globe, animals, even the most gentle-natured ones, have succumbed to their most primal and savage instincts and have started violently attacking human beings. Jackson Oz, an American zoologist who offers safaris in Africa, begins to notice the animals' strange behavior and takes it upon himself to find the reason why before these attacks become more coordinated and ferocious.

James Wolk, recently seen by audiences in "Mad Men," will play Oz, and French actress Nora Arnezeder, mostly known for work in her native country, will play Chloé Tousignant, an ecologist whose life Oz saves and who joins him on his quest to put an end to the animal attacks. Billy Burke, best known as Bella's father in the "Twilight" movies, will play Mitch, a veterinarian specialized in large animals who prefers the company of his patients than that of humans.

CBS is aiming trying to make its summer programming a destination for viewers. Ever since the success of "Under the Dome" in 2013, the network has tried every summer to screen a new, buzz-generating program. The bar has been set high for "Zoo" though, and it will have to draw more than 13.53 million viewers to better the debut of the Stephen King adaptation. Last summer's attempt, "Extant," starring Halle Berry, only drew 9.5 million viewers for its premiere.

Also working against "Zoo" is that the last James Patterson adaptation for television wasn't a hit either. In 2007, ABC aired his "Women's Murder Club" collection, the story of four women (a journalist, an assistant DA, a police officer and a forensic doctor) who band together to solve crimes in San Francisco. Their investigations ended after the network's initial 13-episode order.

To watch the trailer for "Zoo," go to Youtu.be/3pkJo_0Vv8A