Team behind 'Serial' is launching a new podcast, production firm
By Todd Spangler
Feb 01, 2017 | 4:02 PM
Officials disclosed they considered holding “Serial” producers in contempt because of their use of courtroom audio from Adnan Syed’s trial. (Baltimore Sun video)
The creative team behind hit documentary podcast "Serial," based on a Baltimore murder case, have formed a new production banner in association with public radio's "This American Life."
Serial Productions' first podcast will be "S-Town," a nonfiction limited series set in rural Alabama and hosted by longtime "This American Life" producer Brian Reed, with two other series in development. All episodes of "S-Town" will be released simultaneously in March 2017.
"We're harnessing the incredible reporting and editing talent of 'This American Life' and 'Serial' and throwing it toward the creation of new shows," said Julie Snyder.
Snyder co-created "Serial" with Sarah Koenig and is executive producer of "S-Town," whose editorial team includes "This American Life" creator and host Ira Glass, Koenig and Starlee Kine.
"Serial" launched in 2014 as a spinoff of "This American Life," with Koenig, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, narrating the team's investigation into the 2000 conviction of Adnan Syed for the murder of his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in Baltimore.
The show, which raised questions about Syed's guilt, became hugely popular and last summer a judge granted Syed a retrial in the case. But in January, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals agreed to hear an appeal from the state attorney general's office on the new trial.
Season 2 of "Serial" told the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who was captured by the Taliban. To date, episodes of "Serial" have been downloaded more than 250 million times, and it became the first podcast to win a Peabody Award.
The production of "S-Town" began when a man asked "This American Life" to investigate the son of a wealthy family who had allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. Reed agreed to look into it -- but then someone else in the Alabama town wound up dead, and another story began to unfold about a bitter feud, a hunt for hidden treasure and the mysteries of one man's life. Sponsors for "S-Town" are Blue Apron and Squarespace.
"This American Life," which is broadcast on more than 500 public radio stations, is produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media.
Baltimore Sun staff contributed to this article.
2017 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC