The podcast is a converged medium that has allowed talented writers and voice actors/actresses, to receive attention from audiences and entertainment companies. HBO has sought out exceptionally penned and acted concepts; which has led to the acquiring of 2 Dope Queens. The minds behind Pod Saves America, Lesser Gods, and most recently the outlandish My Dad Wrote a Porno, will be adapted into a series of specials, a science fiction comedy, and a comedy special respectively for HBO as well. The adaptation of crafty podcasts makes sense from a creative and business perspective. Regarding the latter notion, timeslots and money will be saved as a result of HBO’s decision to end late-night adult entertainment. And with the conglomerate AT&T now footing the bill, risk-taking in the podcast venture is warranted.
I have listened to a few hours of the currently tapped podcasts in HBO’s line-up. Nothing will be for certain until these podcasts are HBO series for viewing, but from a pure listening standpoint, these ventures have potential. Below is a list of five podcasts that HBOWatch believes could make for exceptional programming. The list was expected to be lengthier, however after more research was conducted, many podcasts were discovered to be optioned by other media outlets already.
Script Notes. A weekly podcast helmed by writers John August and Craig Mazin, that extensively study the craft of screenwriting. The duo has had a plethora of talent to join the podcast, including the showrunners for Game of Thrones, David Benioff and DB Weiss. In one of Script Notes’ most notable episodes, Benioff and Weiss reflect on the troublesome pilot episode of GoT. Mazin is one of the few people that has seen the supposedly incoherent original pilot of HBO’s most successful show and reminds listeners that George RR Martin’s fantasy series almost never aired. Mazin, who is busy at work on the upcoming $250m HBO/SKY produced Chernobyl, would make a sublime host of a series that explored the imaginative process that goes into many of HBO’s and other cinematic gems. This could work with a format similar to the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck produced/hosted Project Greenlight.
Late Night Whenever. Michelle Buteau, who has been a guest on 2 Dope Queens, could lead another potential HBO series. Late Night Whenever features a diverse selection of guests discussing topics in a non-biased manner. Buteau is noted for not engaging guests and the audience in ham-fisted political debates. HBO could strengthen its late-night talk series with a female lead that eschews talking about Donald Trump. I like John Oliver just like anyone else, but there is so much more to discuss in the world than the current Presidential administration.
My Favorite Murder. Although HBO is trimming down on new episode orders of VICE, the premium cabler is fully aware that there is an audience for investigative journalism. Particularly for true crime. My Favorite Murder is an enormously popular and acclaimed weekly podcast, hosted by comedian and television host Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Although HBO has Room 104, My Favorite Murder can be a more grounded addition to the macabre line of programming. The fragility, rather than the secure foundations of society, will always be a must-see for audiences.
Endless Thread. Earlier this year, Westworld showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, worked with Reddit to converse with fans about season two of their science fiction series. Nolan and Joy managed to use the platform to trick readers into thinking that they released a sizzle reel of spoilers for the then up-coming season. Reddit is a seemingly endless thread of factual and fictional information, with no topic left uncovered in some manner. Endless Thread is a collaboration between Boston Public radio and Reddit in podcast format that explores and scrutinizes gripping tales, published by current Reddit users and anonymous folklore spreading persons of unknown time periods. This could be made in the mockumentary style of the HBO film Tour de Pharmacy, albeit in a serialized format.
Where Should We Begin? From 2008 to 2010, HBO aired the five-night-a-week series In Treatment. Marvelous writing kept the 28-plus episode seasons from becoming tedious viewing. Where Should We Begin? could make for a welcome return to the claustrophobic office with comfortable sofas setting. Unlike HBO’s previous venture into therapy sessions, Where Should We Begin? involves the recorded sessions of real patients, who have given consent to the invasion of their privacy. Viewers will probably feel somewhat guilty being a fly on the wall hearing people’s tribulation, but it could make for fine television.
As with all Home Box Programming, we will remain vigilant to report developments on new podcasts acquired by the premium cable network. Also, here is your opportunity to sound off on what you think of this little list or to add your own thoughts, in the Comments below, as to a podcast HBO should adapt.