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Actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles talk with USA TODAY’s Brian Truitt about the final seven episodes of The CW’s “Supernatural.”

USA TODAY

What’s better than a deadly pandemic in real life? Watching Stephen King’s version of an apocalyptic viral outbreak on your TV.

On Friday, the CBS All Access streaming service dropped the first eerie trailer for “The Stand,” a nine-episode miniseries adapting King’s whopping, 1,000-page-plus epic. It premieres Dec. 17, with new episodes streaming weekly on Thursdays.

“The Stand,” which was also adapted for a 1994 ABC miniseries, depicts a world torn apart by a plague that becomes ground zero for an ultimate battle between good and evil. Survivors have dreams of 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg), who brings heroes together to fight the Dark Man, aka Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård), a charismatic villain wielding a smile and superpowers.

Whoopi Goldberg stars as Mother Abigail, an old woman who brings together heroic survivors in CBS All Access’ adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand.” (Photo: ROBERT FALCONER/CBS)

This take on “The Stand” will feature a new coda written by King and a massive cast that includes James Marsden, Odessa Young, Jovan Adepo, Amber Heard, Owen Teague, Henry Zaga, Brad William Henke, Nat Wolff, Heather Graham, Fiona Dourif, Hamish Linklater, Daniel Sunjata and Greg Kinnear.

Earlier this year, social-media users drew comparisons between COVID-19 and the plot of “The Stand,” which involves the release of an influenza virus that kills over 99% of the population.

In March, before our pandemic shut down much of the country, King shared his thoughts on Twitter: “No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.”

Contributing: Sara M Moniuszko

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