NBC has put in development a supernatural drama based on The Black Tapes podcast, from Emerald City co-creator Matthew Arnold, podcast creators Paul Bae and Terry Miles, Entertainment 360 and Universal TV.
Written and executive produced by Arnold, Bae and Miles, The Black Tapes adaptation follows a journalist’s investigations into the unexplained supernatural mysteries caught on tape by a skeptical scientist. Each week the two of them embark on a journey exploring the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.
Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner executive produce for 360 Productions. Universal TV is the studio.
In the podcast, host Alex Reagan narrates a nonfiction-styled fictional story over multiple episodes, using a format that has been compared to Serial. The story begins as a biography of paranormal investigator Dr. Richard Strand, an “evangelical skeptic” on a mission to debunk all claims of the supernatural. Reagan becomes interested in his collection of unsolved cases, which she begins calling his “Black Tapes,” and the podcast evolves into an exploration of these cases, paranormal culture, and the mysterious life of Dr. Strand.
With 41.5 million downloads to date, The Black Tapes podcast consistently ranks on Apple’s iTunes Arts chart in the top 10 in America, and top 50 in Canada, Australia and the UK. That, despite the fact that there hasn’t been a new episode released in over a year. (Apple ranks podcasts according to rate of new subscriptions, not overall downloads).
Arnold co-created drama series Emerald City, which aired for one season on NBC, and created Siberia, which also aired for one season on NBC in 2013.
Arnold is repped by ICM Partners and Behr Abramson Levy. Bae and Miles are repped by Management 360. Miles also is repped by UTA.