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Gimlet Media is doubling down on scripted podcasts.
Following on the success of drama podcast Homecoming, the Brooklyn-based startup is prepping the launch of a new scripted story starring Alia Shawkat and Kristen Wiig.
Sandra tells the story of Helen Perera (Shawkat), a new hire at a technology company that designed the world’s most intuitive virtual assistant. Helen spends her days at Orbital Teledynamics helping users as they ask questions and make demands of the Sandra (Wiig) voice assistant, but the users don’t know that Sandra is real. Meanwhile, she struggles to manage a divorce from husband Donny (Christopher Abbott) and keep her boss Dustin (Ethan Hawke) happy, all while she begins an increasingly unprofessional relationship with heartbroken Sandra super user Tad (Avi Rothman).
The series was written by Kevin Moffett and Matthew Derby with oversight from Mimi O’Donnell, Gimlet’s executive producer of scripted fiction. All seven episodes will be available April 18.
Sandra is part of a slate of spring programming from Gimlet, which already produces 13 podcasts. The other new projects include docudrama The Habitat, about a group of volunteers who for a year acted out what life would be like on Mars from a remote mountain in Hawaii, and docuseries We Came to Win, in which host Nando Vila will dive into the backstories of the most memorable World Cup matches.
All seven episodes of The Habitat will also drop April 18. The first three episodes of We Came to Win will premiere April 25, with new episodes released weekly leading up to the 2018 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Gimlet’s original podcast, StartUp, will return for its seventh season April 27. This season, host Amy Standen will profile the most unlikely powerbroker in Silicon Valley over six episodes. The early episodes of StartUp, about the creation of four-year-old Gimlet, served as the inspiration for freshman ABC comedy Alex, Inc.
The company, which is also known for tech-centric podcast Reply All and docuseries Crimetown, has announced that it will hold a live festival, GimletFest, at the BRIC Arts and Media Center in Brooklyn from June 16 to 17. Tickets will go on sale April 25.
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