Serial is headed to television. Writer/producer/directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) and Fox 21 Television Studios have optioned the rights to the podcast phenomenon co-created and is co-produced by This American Life‘s Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder and hosted by Koenig. Miller and Lord will develop a cable series that would follow the making of the podcast as it follows a case. The case is TBD but it won’t be the murder of Hae Min Lee that was investigated on the first season of Serial.
Lord and Miller are big fans of the podcast, an offshoot of This American Life. The duo secured the rights from the producers and brought the project to Fox 21 TVS as part of their overall deal with 20th Century Fox/F21TVS under which they executive produce Fox comedy series Last Man On Earth. Separately, F21TVS president Bert Salke had been interested in a Serial TV series and has another project in development at the cable unit with the This American Life team.
“Chris and Phil take an unexpected approach to telling stories and that is so appealing to us at Serial,” Snyder said. “Developing a show with them is exciting because we feel like we speak the same language, only they’re smarter than us.”
Snyder and Koenig executive produce the project with Lord and Miller as well as Alissa Shipp, Ira Glass and Seth Cohen. Search is underway for a writer to pen the adaptation.
“From the very first week of Serial’s release last fall, everyone at Fox 21TVS was obsessed with the podcast,” Salke said. “One year later, thanks to the incredible passion of Chris and Phil, who flew to New York and shared their vision with Sarah, Julie, Alissa and Ira for what the series could be, we’re moving forward on this exciting project. We are confident we’ll attract a spectacular writer and look forward to pitching it to outlets very soon.”
Launched in October 2014, Serial became an overnight pop culture sensation, topping the iTunes charts and earning a Peabody Award.
Lord and Miller, who are directing the Han Solo Star Wars movie, are repped by UTA and Matthew Johnson. Koenig, Snyder, Ship and Glass are repped by UTA and by Linda Lichter.