EXCLUSIVE: PJ Vogt, one of the founders of the hit podcast series Reply All, has returned to the audio medium with a new series full of wild internet stories.
While Vogt quietly dropped the first episode of the series – Welcome To Crypto Island – yesterday, Deadline understands that the team behind it are already planning to supersize it with TV extensions, both in the documentary realm and scripted arena.
Ostensibly, Welcome To Crypto Island explores the world of cryptocurrency (listen to the first episode below), but it’s really about the weird human stories behind the world of bitcoin and blockchain.
The first episode tells the story of a private island near Fiji – that Max Olivier and Helena Lopez are looking to turn into a utopian island society populated entirely by the “crypto rich, bitcoin dynasts and dogecoin princelings” that sounds like the web3 version of Fyre Festival.
Deadline hears that the second episode will focus on a group of crypto investors that raised millions of dollars to try and buy a rare copy of the Constitution, which was up for auction at Sotheby’s.
“I’m calling it a limited series, which I don’t love, because it makes it sound like it’s wearing a tuxedo, and this is more of a tuxedo t-shirt situation,” Vogt said. “For a long time I wasn’t very interested in crypto as a world to find stories in. And because I’d ignored it, I think I felt invested in continuing to ignore it.”
“But recently, I’ve plunged it all directly into my brain. Every white paper, every DAO drama, every person who would get on the phone with me. And the result has been, underneath the jargon and money and hype – I just keep finding stories I really enjoy,” he added. “I’ve met lots of people who have made me laugh, heard weird tales whose deeper meanings confound me, and wondered about some very complex people with very strange ambitions.”
Conversations have already started to turn individual episodes of the series into docuseries and scripted series.
Vogt, who is repped by UTA, is producing the series independently and his team are going to let interest build up before taking it out to market to potentially score an exclusive deal. Given the interest in podcast exclusivity at an all time high – with the likes of Joe Rogan’s reported $200M deal with Spotify, Alex Cooper’s $60M deal with the service for Call Her Daddy and Amazon’s $80M deal for Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes’ Smartless, you’d imagine Vogt, whose Reply All was regularly topping the podcast charts, will find an interesting deal.
Vogt founded Reply All, which is behind episodes such as The Case of the Missing Hit, with Alex Goldman in 2014 and made around 175 episodes of the Gimlet Media-produced series before leaving in 2021.
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