Gimlet Media is going into the future by taking listeners back to the past. The Brooklyn-based podcasting company has unveiled its fall slate, and while it has splashy new documentary series coming in November from, for example, the minds behind HBO’s “The Jinx,” Gimlet is also branching out into fictional audio series — what might otherwise be thought of as the modern version of a radio serial.
“Fiction is an area we’ve been interested in for a while,” Caitlin Kenney, Gimlet’s head of new show development, told Variety. “It’s a nice chance to diversify.”
Gimlet’s first foray into fiction is “Homecoming,” starring the smooth vocals of Oscar Isaac, Catherine Keener, David Schwimmer, David Cross and Amy Sedaris. The series is a six-episode psychological thriller that takes place at an experimental facility. Isaac is a soldier looking to readjust to civilian life, with Keener as his caseworker and Schwimmer as the ambitious supervisor at the facility. The story is told through phone calls and therapy sessions, plus “overheard” conversations.
“It has a really immersive and intense sound design,” Kenney said. “From an audience perspective, there’s something really engaging about a really beautiful audio experience told week by week.”
“Homecoming” is written by bestselling author Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, with sound design by Mark Phillips. It debuts on Nov. 16, dropping one episode a week.
Gimlet’s new nonfiction series include “Crimetown,” from two of the producers of HBO’s “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.” “Crimetown” tells the story of Providence, Rhode Island, a town so steeped in organized crime that its mayor, Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, resigned from office after kidnapping and torturing the man his wife was having an affair with — and then won his mayorship back. The series hails from Zac Stuart-Pontier and Marc Smerling, and premieres Nov. 20.
The other new nonfiction series is “Undone,” which looks at the aftermath of the biggest news stories of yesterday, when the news crews rolled away. The first season, premiering Nov. 14, will delve into what happened after, say, a group of black men called the Deacons for Defense and Justice faced the KKK in one of the South’s biggest Klan strongholds in 1965. “Undone” is hosted by former “Radiolab” producer Pat Water.
The newbies join old stalwarts like business podcast “StartUp,” which begins its fourth season on Nov. 3, following ousted American Apparel founder Dov Charney as he attempts to start a new business.
Listen to a trailer for “Homecoming” below.