Podcast network Gimlet Media is establishing a footprint in film and television with the launch of Gimlet Pictures, a new film and TV arm headed by the company’s Chris Giliberti.

The new unit under the Gimlet Media umbrella formalizes the digital company’s recent forays in TV and film with two high-profile TV series — Amazon’s Homecoming, starring Julia Roberts, ABC’s Alex, Inc., toplined by Zach Braff — and the Annapurna feature Man of the People, headlined by Robert Downey Jr.

As Head of Gimlet Pictures, Giliberti will be based at the company’s headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, splitting his time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

“The goal here is to play a greater role in extending our Gimlet sensibility and story craftsmanship to the audiences we reach in other formats,” Giliberti said. “We’ve set up and served as producers on three projects so far — Alex, Inc., Homecoming and Man of the People — and in doing so have learned a lot about the various ways a project can develop, sell and come to fruition. On the heels of these projects, we feel prepared to take a bigger bet on TV and film, both in terms of number of projects but also in terms of depth of participation across the development and production process.”

Gimlet’s first screen adaptation is Alex, Inc. starring, directed by and executive produced by Scrubs star Braff, which premieres March 28 on ABC. Written by Matt Tarses and produced by Sony TV and ABC Studios, it was inspired by the podcast StartUp.

Alex, Inc. was followed by Homecoming, based on Gimlet Media’s breakout fictional podcast, starring Roberts and directed by Sam Esmail, which received a two-season straight-to-series order at Amazon. Written by the podcast’s creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg and produced by Universal Cable Prods., Homecoming is set to premiere in late 2018 on Amazon Prime. Giliberti is executive producing both series.

In addition, an episode of Reply All, Gimlet’s hit podcast about the Internet, is being developed as the feature Man of the People, by Annapurna Pictures and Team Downey, with Richard Linklater directing and Downey set to star as well as executive produce.

Julia Roberts
Annapurna Pictures
Rex Shutterstock

“As with Homecoming and Man of the People, we’ll continue to develop internally and package with writers and talent before taking projects out,” Giliberti said. “We are reaching out aggressively to the writer and talent communities and look forward to building many new relationships with wonderful creators in this next phase of our growth.”

As for how the company plans to potentially finance its projects and whether it is looking to serve as a studio, “we’re very interested in the variety of ways a project can come together from a financing standpoint, and we’ll look to experiment with new structures there,” Giliberti said.

Gimlet Media was launched in 2014 by Alex Blumberg, a former producer for This American Life, and Matt Lieber.