Popular Podcasts Come To Life Through New TV Adaptations


by Patrick Green

Photo: shapecharge (Getty Images)

The only people who love podcasts more than commuters are television execs. With a built-in audience and serialized structure built on weekly cliffhangers, podcasts are the new go-to form of source material for television adaptations. 

The surprising success of podcasts has helped peak TV reach even greater heights with no sign of ratings going down. Here’s a rundown of the podcasts that are making the sensory transition from audio to visual as well as one we would like to see because we really need to be watching more TV. (Kidding.)

Homecoming


There’s a lot of A-list talent associated with this psychological thriller about a caseworker dedicated to rehabilitating former soldiers. The podcast featured Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener, while the Amazon TV adaptation stars Julia Roberts and is directed by Mr. Robot genius Sam Esmail. 

Dirty John


Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard hosted this true crime podcast that has all the makings of a modern noir classic. A successful Orange County divorcée looking for love in all the wrong places (in this case, online dating) hooks up with a handsome doctor who seems too good to be true. The jury is still out if the highly-anticipated Bravo TV adaptation is up to snuff with the hit podcast, but it is perfectly cast with Connie Britton and Eric Bana playing the titular couple.   

Pod Save America

The “political podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane” has gotten the HBO treatment. Hosted by a couple of President Obama speechwriters (Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett), the podcast and TV show break down the week’s news with no-bullshit conversations about politics, social issues, and how “we” fit into all of it.

Lore

The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd scooped up this award-winning podcast about the frightening history behind common folklore. The Amazon TV anthology blends documentary footage with cinematic re-enactments, animation, and narration that satisfies even the most finicky horror fans.

Serial

Journalist Sarah Koenig’s breakout podcast that mainstreamed the form is finally getting an adaptation. The never-ending, always captivating story of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee in 1999, will be a documentary series with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg directing. This will be must-see TV in 2019.

Tanis 


This gothic sci-fi series follows a man’s quest to uncover the origins and location of the elusive entity of the same name. Now into its fourth season, the pulpy, old-timey yarn seems ideal for a Sam Raimi-backed re-telling. 

You Must Remember This

Film historian Karina Longworth’s storytelling podcast about the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century is on our wishlist for a TV adaptation. A period-piece anthology airing Tinseltown’s dirty laundry seems made for the Mathew Wiener (Mad Men) or Ryan Murphy treatment. 



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