'Serial' Moves to Biweekly Schedule as Podcast Adds New Material
“Since we started broadcasting the show, we have gotten more people willing to talk, and because of that, it has opened up more avenues of reporting.”
The Serial podcast is shifting to a biweekly schedule, it was announced Wednesday, as Sarah Koenig and her team work on reporting additional material. Serial's second season focuses on Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after walking away from his Army base in Afghanistan.
"As we’re reporting it, we’re getting access to more of the key people close to Bergdahl’s case, and to more information than we initially thought we would," Koenig wrote in a blog post on Serial's website. She said they will be adding at least one extra episode to the series, which she initially said would be 10-12 installments. The next episode will come out on Jan. 21.
Executive producer Julie Snyder spoke with The New York Times and said the changes were due to "narrative developments" and "more people willing to talk." She said, "I hesitate on calling them news developments."
This season of Serial has not generated the same level of buzz as the first season, which focused on Adnan Syed's conviction for the murder of Hae Min Lee. Snyder said she has "definitely noticed" but was also "definitely prepared" for that because she said a lot of the coverage in 2014 centered around the show itself. "There was a lot of coverage about, ‘What is this? Have you heard it?’ We’re not a new story anymore,” Snyder told the newspaper.
She said the first episode of season two was downloaded approximately 3.4 million times in its first week, which is more than any episode was downloaded in its first seven days last season. However, Snyder also added that the bulk of the first season's listeners tuned in after the season had ended.
Season two's podcast is expected to stretch until late March and possibly later, according to Snyder.