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Audible Sets Slate of Six Comedy Podcasts With Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, Gillian Jacobs and More (Podcast News Roundup)

Audible Comedy Podcasts Will Forte, Bob
Chelsea Lauren/Variety; Sipa USA via AP

In today’s podcast news roundup, Audible punches the laugh-track with six upcoming scripted comedy shows; Nas and Minya “Miss Info” Oh are hosting a talk show about hip-hop on Spotify; former ESPN sportscaster Michelle Beadle set to premiere her sports and pop-culture podcast with The Athletic; and more.

PROGRAMMING

Amazon’s Audible announced six new original scripted comedy podcasts set to release through 2022, featuring creators and writers including Paul Lieberstein (“The Office”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul,” “Mr. Show”), Achilles Stamatelaky (“Broad City,” “Hit Job”), Joe Rumrill (“Chris Gethard Presents”), Matthew Chauncey (“What If…?”), and Dan Abramson and Matt Klinman (“The Last Degree of Kevin Bacon”). Actors are on board to lend their voices to the projects include Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, Gillian Jacobs, Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo, Judy Greer, Jane Lynch, Sunita Mani, Aparna Nancherla, Haley Joel Osment, Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson.

Here are details on Audible’s upcoming comedy slate:

  • “Middlespace: The Rebels Attack, And Then The Other Side Attacks As Well” (premieres Nov. 18): Starship Captain George Cottonhammer (Will Forte) is bored by his job, annoys his staff, and daydreams about opening an intergalactic burger franchise. But the Captain’s life changes forever when he refuses to answer an intergalactic distress call that turns out to be a trap, giving the universe’s least likely hero a chance to actually become one. Created, written, and directed by Paul Lieberstein; produced by: Audible Originals and Above Average Productions. Cast includes Will Forte, Sunita Mani, Cheri Oteri, Wyatt Cenac, Clark Duke, Gillian Jacobs, Chris Smith, Rainn Wilson, John Malkovich, Alex Moffat, Amanda Lund, Cooper Foster, Dave Ahdoot, Fortune Feimster, George Bladon, Janine Poreba, Jon Gabrus, Lennon Parham, and Paul Lieberstein.
  • “Christmas Delivery” (premieres Dec. 16): Beth Briny (Gillian Jacobs), a grouchy restaurant courier working the Christmas Eve shift, is forced to learn the true “reason for the season” when she and holiday-loving stranger Andy Pepper (Sam Richardson) stumble upon a Christmas Carol-esque adventure — delivering to people from Beth’s past, present, and future. Created and written by Achilles Stamatelaky; produced by Audible Originals and Broadway Video Enterprises.
  • “Self Center” (premieres Jan. 13, 2022): On Meg Everman’s (Judy Greer) 40th birthday, she decides to treat herself to a weekend retreat hosted by SLF-CNTR, a health and beauty lifestyle brand led by celebrated model-turned-wellness-thought-leader, Enid Hargrove (Kim Cattrall). But when the weekend’s itinerary of “spa treatments” begin to seem more like a torture sequence from a Saw movie, Meg suspects that Enid’s apparently eternal youth might have sinister and supernatural origins. Created by Matthew Chauncey; written by Chauncey, Julie Greiner, Keerthi Harishankar, and Agathe Panaretos; produced by Audible Originals and Team Coco.
  • “Lem Can Help” (premieres Feb. 10, 2022): Convinced your house is haunted? Feeling unmotivated at work? Nervous to ask your crush on a date? Lem can help! Lem Bennings (Fred Armisen) tackles life’s big questions on his popular advice podcast. Callers from around the world look to Lem for his insights on a range of topics including career management, personal finance, dating, hygiene, and home and car maintenance. Along the way, he interviews experts (played by comedians) and passes along their wisdom to his listeners. Open your heart, mind and ears to Lem’s incomparable guidance. Finally, you have his undivided attention—just so long as he isn’t pressed for time, of course. Created by Joe Rumrill; directed by Peter Grosz; produced by Audible Originals and Broadway Video Enterprises.
  • “Summer in Argyle” (premieres March 10, 2022): Argyle, Ohio, is a town full of strange people and places, where not a single resident has ever won anything. Naturally, the town that comes in second loves its substitute athletes, none more prominent than the high schooler Richie McDonough. So when he dies mysteriously at the July 4th Hotdog Eating Contest in 2013, the community is shaken to its core. Created and written by Bob Odenkirk and Nate Odenkirk; directed by: Tim Kalpakis; creative producer and original music by Eban Schletter (“Mr. Show”); executive produced by Naomi Odenkirk; produced by Audible Originals and Above Average.
  • “Blood Weed” (premieres April 20, 2022): A charismatic young entrepreneur, Chase Stapp (Haley Joel Osment), starts a designer cannabis brand and has high hopes of disrupting the entire industry. But when a powerful criminal organization shows up and makes Chase an offer he can’t refuse, his dream, his company, and his life are all thrown into danger. Created and written by Dan Abramson and Matt Klinman; produced by Audible Originals and Above Average.

The new shows join recently released Audible original comedies “Hot White Heist,” “Hit Job,” “Cut and Run,” “Operation Cordelia,” “Sorry Charlie Miller,” “Escape From Virtual Island,” “A Total Switch Show,” “The Totally Inaccurate Biography of Andy Richter,” “Vroom Vroom,” “Eat Sh*t Kenny Daniels” and “Haunt the Johnsons.”

DATES

Spotify and Mass Appeal announced “The Bridge: 50 Years of Hip Hop,” a talk show hosted by rapper Nas and radio personality Minya “Miss Info” Oh, as part of the #HipHop50 initiative. The first season launches Nov. 16 with new episodes releasing weekly, exclusively on Spotify. “The Bridge” will feature conversations with guests including iconic rappers, producers and today’s popular artists to explore the ways in which hip-hop influenced society. The premiere episodes feature Nas and Miss Info in conversation with Ice Cube, Mary J. Blige and Cordae. Nas and Miss Info have had a longstanding musical relationship since the early ’90s, when Miss Info famously wrote one of hip-hop’s most renowned album reviews on The Source for Nas’ “Illmatic.” The full circle moment will come to life this fall as the pair pays homage to 50 years of Hip Hop culture through unique storytelling. Earlier this year, Mass Appeal announced its #HipHop50 content partnership with Showtime and ViacomCBS, a multi-tiered campaign rolling out over the next two years. Listen to the trailer for “The Bridge” below or at this link.

Michelle Beadle, former ESPN sportscaster, will host new podcast “What Did I Miss? With Michelle Beadle,” the first show on the Beadle Podcast Network launching in collaboration with The Athletic. The podcast is slated to launch Monday, Nov. 15, with new episodes to be released on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “What Did I Miss?” is a sports and pop-culture variety show that mixes comedy and analysis with Beadle’s unique point of view. The Athletic will provide production, development and sales support for the show and other shows coming to the Beadle Podcast Network. “What Did I Miss?” will be free with ads on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other major podcast platforms, and available with no ads on The Athletic app.

CNN Audio on Nov. 10 debuted “When Diana Met…,” a new limited-series podcast hosted by longtime podcaster Aminatou Sow about Princess Diana’s most notable meetings with public figures, politicians, dignitaries and celebrities — revealing often-overlooked truths and misunderstandings about her life as Princess of Wales. The six-part series, with new episodes dropping on Wednesdays, is available on CNN Audio (at this link) and major podcast platforms.

Joe Garner‘s “We Interrupt This Broadcast” Season 2 docu-series will premiere Nov. 22, with 12 episodes featuring interviews and new details from journalists and historians who were witnesses to historic moments, including the Oswald and JFK assassinations; Watergate and Nixon’s resignation; the NASA Challenger explosion; the rescue of Baby Jessica; the OJ Simpson chase; the Oklahoma City bombing; Hurricane Katrina; Election Night 2016; and more. “We Interrupt This Broadcast” Is hosted by broadcaster Bill Kurtis and narrated by Brian Williams. The show is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play and other audio platforms. The docu-series was created by Joe Garner, based on his book of the same name, and is produced by i4 Media Ventures, co-founded in December 2020 by Garner, Ron Hartenbaum and Scott Calka. It will be presented over six 12-episode seasons for a total of 72 episodes.

Spotify Studios’ “Dope Labs,” the podcast where science meets pop culture, returns for Season 4 on Thursday, Nov. 11. The podcast is co-hosted by Dr. Titi Shodiya and Dr. Zakiya Whatley, both grads of Duke University who are rising-star experts and women of color disrupting the STEM space. This season the weekly series, will feature guests that delve into pertinent conversations around science denial, COVID-19-era anxiety, fintech and how technology can make shopping more accessible, representation and HBCUs, and more. “Dope Labs” is a product of Spotify’s Sound Up podcast accelerator program, aimed at supporting women of color in the podcasting space with tools and resources. Listen to the Season 4 trailer below or at this link.

Amazon’s Wondery on Nov. 8 premiered “Operator,” an eight-part series co-produced with Topic Studios about the 900-number phone-sex hotline craze of the ’90s, focusing on American Telnet, which dominated the industry. Hosted by Tina Horn (“Why Are People Into That?”), the podcast focuses on Mike Pardes, the man behind American Telnet who called himself “The Telephone Pimp.” He ran the company “like General Motors” and got filthy rich doing it — but for the (mostly) women who answered the calls and delivered fantasies 24-7, it was a different story. The powerful stigma against sex work was always lurking just beneath the surface, until it threatened to tear apart the whole company. The series is available on Wondery at this link as well as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and other audio platforms.

Slate’s “Decoder Ring” returned with a new season that debuted Nov. 9. On each episode, host Willa Paskin, who is Slate’s TV critic, takes listeners down cultural rabbit holes, starting with the true story behind Andrew Wyeth’s Helga Paintings (available at this link and all major podcast platforms). Still to come on this season: Stories about a set of joke books that changed the bestsellers charts by reprinting the most tasteless, racist, sexist jokes possible; the psychology and origins of a mind game that can never be won; and Alberta, Canada’s claim to be completely rat-free.

Religion of Sports, the sports media company co-founded by Gotham Chopra, NFL champ Tom Brady and Michael Strahan, will debut “Man in the Arena,” a weekly companion podcast to the ESPN Plus docu-series of the same name,  on Nov. 16 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other audio streaming platforms. The 10-part podcast is hosted by Gotham Chopra, with episodes released weekly in tandem with new installments of Tom Brady’s docuseries of the same name, which was produced by Religion of Sports and 199 Productions and premieres on ESPN+ on November 16. Each docuseries episode is dedicated to one of Brady’s Super Bowl appearances and the journey to becoming the greatest QB of all time, while the podcast aims to explore new, more personal territories outside of Brady’s accomplishments on the field. Listen to the podcast audio trailer at this link.

CASTING

Fred Armisen (“Portlandia,” “Saturday Night Live”) will headline Realm’s scripted horror-comedy “Black Friday” by S.A. Copen. The series is set to debut Nov. 22 on all podcast platforms. In the show, Armisen will voice Bob, an average husband and father stuck working Thanksgiving Night at Mart Club after being laid off from a corporate position. Determined to climb the corporate ladder, Bob isn’t going to let a little thing like zombies derail America’s Black Friday celebration. Voice actor Tiana Camacho will play Bob’s boss Tanya, with whom he’s clashed with in the past but is forced to team up to win against the zombies. Fred Greenhalgh serves as senior audio producer on “Black Friday.” Listen to the trailer below or at this link.

Reverb‘s scripted sci-fi podcast “Black Box” added Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”) and Edi Patterson (“The Righteous Gemstones”) to the cast alongside previously announced cast members Joel McHale (“Community”), Michael Cimino (“Love, Victor”), Brec Bassinger (“Stargirl”), Chosen Jacobs (“It”) and Jacob Bertrand (“Cobra Kai”). Episodes release weekly beginning Tuesday, Nov. 9, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever podcasts are available. Listen to the trailer at this link. “Black Box” follows four teenagers (Cimino, Bassinger, Jacobs, Betrand) who stumble upon the wreckage of a crashed time machine and discover its black box recording foretells of impending disaster. Forced on the run with the jaded inventor of time travel (Patterson), they must scramble to uncover a catastrophic plot by a powerful military general (Grammer) and scheming scientist (McHale) before it’s too late. “Black Box” is written and directed by Brian Siegele and produced by Siegele and Chase Kinser for Reverb. Grammer is represented by UTA and Vault Entertainment. Patterson is represented by CAA.

DEALS

TuneIn, the livestreaming audio service, announced a new automotive collaboration with Samsung Electronics’ Harman International, to create a preintegrated implementation of the TuneIn app, bringing on-demand live sports, news, music, podcasts, and radio to the Harman Ignite Store, a connected-vehicle platform that lets automakers develop, manage and operate their own in-vehicle app store.