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Fictional Anthrax Hits 'The Agency'

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Not only were the Emmys on-again, off-again, on-again in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, but so was another CBS entry, an anthrax episode of the network’s CIA drama, “The Agency,” starring Gil Bellows and Paige Turco as two operatives. The episode about a fictitious anthrax threat against the nation’s capital was originally scheduled to air Oct. 11 but got bumped by President Bush’s nationally televised news conference that evening. The segment was then moved to the following week but was shelved again over public anxiety about the real-life anthrax scare unfolding in Florida, New York and Capitol Hill. The show’s publicist, Tracey Rabb, told Reuters that CBS ultimately decided it was fine to go with the episode, scheduling it for this Thursday, Nov. 8. “Everybody feels the show is produced responsibly, and there isn’t anything inappropriate in the episode, and you really can’t do a serious drama about the CIA without colliding with topical events,” she said. In the episode, filmed in August, the CIA discovers that perpetrators of an anthrax attack in Belgium are planning to make Washington, D.C., their next target, sending agents scrambling to foil the plot.