It's undeniable that 'Serial' launched podcasts to a new level, while gripping the nation with its first season (which focused on the 1999 murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed). While their second season didn't get quite the same amount of hype, there was a completely separate podcast that became everyone's obsession: Mystery Show, created by Starlee Kine. Confusingly, Gimlet Productions dropped the podcast while it was in the early stages of season two last year. The two forces have teamed up, however, and will be launching a new podcast in March. From their announcement today:
This American Life
and the creators of Serial announced the formation of podcast production company Serial Productions. The first podcast to launch under the new production banner will be S-Town, a nonfiction limited series set in rural Alabama and hosted by long-time This American Life producer Brian Reed.
Production of S-Town began when a man reached out to This American Life bitterly complaining about his small Alabama town. He wanted a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who had allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. Brian agreed to look into it. But then someone else ended up dead, and another story began to unfold—about a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure and the mysteries of one man’s life.
“This story takes so many unexpected turns,” says Ira Glass. “Every episode is a new surprise. And the story has this feeling and mood that’s different from anything else we’ve done. I don’t think people have heard a show like this.”
The S-Town editorial team includes Glass, Sarah Koenig and Starlee Kine. All episodes of S-Town will be released simultaneously in March 2017, so we'll find out if binge-listening works as well as binge-watching.
The team also has two more podcasts in development, but no details have been released on those.