WarnerMedia, iHeartMedia to Produce Companion Podcasts for HBO Max Shows (Exclusive)

Search Party -season 3- Publicity still 2 - H 2020
Jon Pack

Comedy ‘Search Party’ and sci-fi drama ‘Raised by Wolves’ are the first TV series to get companion podcasts.

HBO Max’s programming is getting the podcast treatment.

WarnerMedia and iHeartMedia have inked a deal to co-produce a slate of companion podcasts for the streamer’s upcoming originals and legacy programming. The first two projects will be podcasts about comedy thriller Search Party, which is set to debut its third season on June 25, and upcoming sci-fi drama Raised by Wolves.

“Today’s streaming fans are hungry for more content the second they finish an episode of their favorite shows, and podcasts are a great way to keep those fans engaged while also giving our roster of creative talent additional tools to extend the worlds of their shows and stories,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer for HBO Max.

WarnerMedia’s HBO has already dabbled in podcasting, recently releasing companion series to TV shows Chernobyl, Watchmen and McMillions. Like those podcasts, the new shows from WarnerMedia and iHeart will be available to stream on the HBO Max app. (Users can only listen to podcasts if the app is open and the screen is on, but WarnerMedia is planning to build new features that make it easier to listen on the go.) The new shows will also be available via iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.

The deal, a first-look for iHeartMedia, also gives the companies the option to produce companion podcasts for WarnerMedia Entertainment TV networks including TNT, TBS and truTV. The entertainment conglomerate’s Warner Bros. division already has an exclusive pact with Spotify for podcasts based on the DC universe and the studio’s other IP franchises.

WarnerMedia and iHeart will both commit marketing resources to promote the podcasts and the TV programming. iHeart will lead ad sales and placement with input from WarnerMedia.

“WarnerMedia Entertainment’s networks and brands have long been a marvel in the entertainment industry and we’re ecstatic for the opportunity to be a part of their legendary storytelling and to bring this trove of new content to the iHeartPodcast Network,” said Conal Byrne, president of iHeartPodcast Network.

Search Party, which aired on TBS for its first two seasons, was created by Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers and Michael Showalter and stars Alia Shawkat, John Reynolds, Meredith Hagner and John Early. Raised by Wolves, which was originally developed for TNT before moving to HBO Max, will be directed and executive produced by Ridley Scott and tells the story of a pair of androids tasked with raising human children.