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The Houston Astros cheating scandal is getting the podcast and television treatment.
Podcast company Cadence13 is kicking off a new sports documentary podcast franchise with a season that will explore the Astros’ World Series-winning 2017 season. Major League Baseball fined the team in January after a report uncovered that players used technology to communicate signs stolen from opposing teams.
To tell the Astros’ story, Cadence13 has teamed with Sports Illustrated writer Ben Reiter, who will write and host the project, and Slow Burn co-creators Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons, who will produce via Neyfakh’s Prologue Projects shingle. Cadence13 content chief Chris Corcoran and Underground Entertainment partner Steven Fisher will executive produce.
A TV series based on the podcast also is in development with Left/Right Productions, the producer of Epix’s Slow Burn adaptation as well as Showtime’s The Circus and FX’s The Weekly. Reiter, Prologue Projects and Underground also are attached to the adaptation.
“The Astros of the 2010s were the most innovative organization in the history of sports,” Reiter said Thursday in a statement. “As it turned out, the ‘new way to win it all’ involved factors that no one could have imagined — myself included. Cadence13, Prologue Projects, and Left/Right are the ideal partners with whom to reveal the full story of the Astros’ exhilarating rise and shocking fall.”
Added Neyfakh, “We have long wanted to apply our narrative approach to a story that’s outside the world of politics. The Astros saga is the perfect place for us to start — in addition to being populated by amazing characters, it forces you to ask yourself hard questions about the meaning of fairness, cheating and secrecy.”
The podcast, which is set to debut this summer, will seek to reshape the public’s understanding of the story. Reiter, who wrote abut the Astros for an SI cover story and in his book, Astroball: The New Way to Win It All, will look at the strategies and culture — sign-stealing and all — that lifted the team from baseball’s worst club to World Series champions in just a few years.
The currently untitled project will join a roster of Cadence13 shows that include the docuseries Root of Evil, Gangster Capitalism and Long May They Run. “This is a story that everyone is talking about, and partnering with Ben and Leon to deep-dive on this scandal should give listeners the best insight and context possible,” Corcoran said in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand Cadence13’s powerful lineup of original documentary storytelling with this new franchise.”
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