9:30am PT by Natalie Jarvey
Jessica Biel to Star in 'Limetown' Podcast Adaptation for Facebook
Another popular podcast is getting the television treatment.
Facebook has given a 10-episode series order to the mystery thriller Limetown starring Jessica Biel and based on the 2015 podcast of the same name.
Fresh off an Emmy nomination for her performance in the USA limited series The Sinner, Biel will star as Lia Haddock, a journalist for American Public Radio who seeks to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of more than 300 people at a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee.
The series, which hails from Endeavor Content, is being written and executive produced by Limetown creators Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie. Biel will exec produce via her Iron Ocean Productions banner alongside Michelle Purple. Midnight Radio's Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg will executive produce and showrun, with Adrienne Erickson producing.
Akers and Bronkie, the founders of podcast studio Two Up Productions, released the first season of Limetown in July 2015 at the height of the early post-Serial podcast boom. Audiences, driven by the true crime and mystery thriller elements, downloaded the first season more than 10 million times and it topped the Apple Podcast chart. The popularity of the project drew the interest of WME, which signed Akers and Bronkie and began to explore a television adaptation.
The Limetown TV show, which has been in the works for more than a year, comes amid a surge in demand for podcast adaptations. In the last year, the podcasts StartUp, Lore, 2 Dope Queens and Pod Save America have all landed TV adaptations. Meanwhile, two buzzy new projects based on podcasts, Amazon's Homecoming and Bravo's Dirty John, are set for November premieres.
At Facebook, Limetown will join a growing slate of scripted projects for the Watch video platform, which includes the recently released half-hour drama Sorry for Your Loss starring Elizabeth Olsen and the forthcoming beauty pageant dramedy Queen America starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Fans of the original podcast won't have to wait until the the Facebook show premieres to get their Limetown fix. Endeavor, through its new audio division, is releasing the long-awaited second season of Limetown on Oct. 31, picking up where the first season abruptly ended. And Simon & Schuster will publish Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast, written by Akers and Bronkie with Cote Smith, on Nov. 13.
Biel is repped by WME, LBI Entertainment and Morris Yorn. Akers and Bronkie are repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham. Midnight Radio is repped by WME.