Nearly one year after the immensely popular podcast Serial first launched, producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller are teaming with Fox 21 Productions (Homeland), to create a TV series adaptation. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that series creator Sarah Koenig, who hosted the weekly podcast that was a spinoff of This American Life, sparked to Phil Lord and Chris Miller's pitch for a TV adaptation, which will chronicle the process of making the successful podcast instead of the case it chronicled. The producers will start pitching to cable networks once a team of writers are in place.
The series will not focus on the murder case that made the series so popular, involving Adnan Syed, who was convicted of killing his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000. The podcast's 12-episode first season explored the case as Sarah Koenig and her team conducted their own investigation, which cast doubt on Adnan Syed's conviction. However they didn't come up with any conclusive proof that he did or did not commit the murder.
In February, weeks after the first season concluded, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals allowed Adnan Syed to appeal his conviction, on the grounds that his attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, provided substandard counsel for failing to seek a plea bargain during his trial. The first season also uncovered new evidence from Adnan Syed's friend Asia McClain, who provided an alibi for the accused murderer. Serial won the first ever Peabody Award for podcasts in April. Here's what Fox 21 TV Studios president Bert Salke had to say in a statement.
"From the very first week of Serial's release last fall, everyone at Fox 21 TVS was obsessed with the podcast. One year later, thanks to the incredible passion of Chris and Phil, who flew to New York and shared their vision with Sarah, Julie Snyder, Alissa Shipp and Ira Glass for what the series could be, we're moving forward on this exciting project. What you have here is a 'once every ten years creative storytelling phenom' with a 'once in ten years take' with a 'once in twenty-five years creative team.' We are confident we'll attract a spectacular writer and look forward to pitching it to outlets very soon."
Phil Lord and Chris Miller will executive produce the series alongside the This American Life team that includes Sarah Koenig, Julie Snyder, Alissa Shipp, Ira Glass and Seth Cohen. It was revealed last week that Season 2 of the Serial podcast will focus on Bowe Berghdahl, a U.S. soldier who was captured by the Taliban after he was seen wandering off base. He spent five years in captivity before the U.S. government released five Talibann prisoners in exchange for the soldier. We reported last year that Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal are developing a biopic on Berghdahl, with Todd Field simultaneously developing a competing project. Mark Boal is actually teaming up with Serial to produce this new season, and serve as one of the on-air narrators alongside former New York Times editor Hugo Lindgren.