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‘Serial’ Team Forms Podcast Production Firm, Sets Launch of New Series

The creative team behind hit documentary podcast “Serial” 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 (pictured above left, with Reed).

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 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. Season two 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.

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