Podcast Playlist: Slate's 'Slow Burn' Breaks Download Record, Endeavor Audio Teases Parker Posey Starrer 'Hunted'

Courtesy of Endeavor Audio & Wolf Entertainment
'Hunted' voice actors Parker Posey and Brett Rice

The new season of 'Slow Burn' hit 300,000 downloads in its first 24 hours.

Dick Wolf’s podcasting plans are coming into focus. The television mega-producer and Endeavor Audio are set to launch the fiction series Hunted this month.

The project, which stars Parker Posey, follows a deputy U.S. marshal who puts it all on the line to prove she’s fit to lead one of the most treacherous and violent manhunts in the country’s history. When four convicts escape from a maximum-security prison, Emily Barnes (Posey) is called in to pursue the criminals.

In the trailer for Hunted, Posey is heard explaining the high-alert situation. "I'm going to catch these guys however I can," she says. Sirens sound in the background and then a voice says, "From here on out, it's kill or be killed. Nothing's getting in our way."

Hunted is the first podcast to result from Endeavor Audio’s 2018 deal with Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment. It joins a slate of Endeavor productions including Blackout starring Rami Malek and The Bellas Podcast with former WWE stars Brie and Nikki Bella.

During an upfront presentation for ad buyers in New York earlier this month, Endeavor also unveiled plans for American Jihadi from Adam Levine’s 222 Productions, a podcast about a journalist grappling with his budding friendship with terrorist Omar Hammami, and the trivia game show Factorious, hosted by comedian Matt Iseman.

Endeavor Audio is among a wave of companies looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of podcasting. The IAB held its own podcast upfront on Oct. 16, when executives from iHeart Radio, WarnerMedia, Stitcher and other outlets pitched brands on the value of connecting with potential customers through audio storytelling.

The first two episodes of Hunted are set to debut Nov. 12, with additional episodes rolling out every Tuesday through Dec. 17. Listen to the trailer, below.

In other podcasting news:

The New York Times' The Daily has tapped Politico’s Dave Shaw to serve as its first Washington-based staffer. Shaw, who most recently led the audio team at Politico, has also spent time at Scripps and in the D.C. bureau for Marketplace. “Between the relentless news cycle and the tireless reporting being done each day from Washington, multiple Daily episode a week are often generated by reporters in the bureau,” Lisa Tobin, executive producer of audio, and Elisabeth Bumiller, Washington bureau chief, wrote in a note announcing Shaw’s hiring. “We are very excited by the possibilities for even greater collaboration that will be unlocked by having an editor from the Daily team based there, too.”

– Slate launched the new season of Slow Burn on Oct. 30, marking the first season without the series’ original host, Leon Neyfakh. In the third season, new host Joel Anderson is taking a deep dive on the unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. The first episode, which explores the beginning of the feud between the two rappers, was downloaded more than 300,000 times in its first 24 hours, per Slate, the biggest single day for a podcast episode from the company. To promote the new series, Slate handed out limited-edition CDs with the Slow Burn trailer at record stores, restaurants and other locations in Los Angeles and New York.

Heaven’s Gate, a two-year-old podcast from Stitcher and Pineapple Street Studios about the titular cult, is being adapted into a four-part docuseries for HBO Max. Produced by CNN Originals, the project will tell the story of the events that led to the largest mass suicide in U.S. history. “We are thrilled that the original reporting for this series will serve as the framework for telling the story from behind the camera lens to reach even more engaged audiences,” Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn said in a statement. The HBO Max series is being directed by Clay Tweel and produced by Ross Dinerstein of Campfire. Stitcher’s Diehn, Peter Clowney, Eric Spiegelman and Chris Bannon are also executive producing.