On Monday, I wrote about Team Downey and Annapurna Pictures teaming up to produce a film based on an episode of Reply All, a podcast produced by Gimlet Media. And that Robert Downy, Jr signed on for a lead role. It was currently unclear on whether he will portray John Brinkley, a doctor that manipulated the public using radio and “medicine” which led him to create an empire during the roaring 20s.
This is not the first time that some podcasts were developed into another medium of entertainment. Ira Glass, the godfather of podcasting, partnered with Showtime to make a dramatic shift from public radio to television. This American Life: The TV Series premiered on March 22, 2007. I’ve only watched a few episodes by the time I wrote this blog post. It was start with Ira Glass sitting on a desk with a black cup on one side and a wireless microphone on the other. He would wear a gray suit jacket with black tie. There would sometimes be some papers top of a oval shaped wooden desk. What made it interesting was that he would be at an entire new location. At every episode, he could be surrounded by the sandy plains of the desert, the busy streets, or near some mountains. No matter where he was his eyes were locked on the audience; speaking in the same warm tone he would use on a radio show.
With two Primetime Emmys on their belt, The American Life proved to be the type of show ShowTime needed to compete with show such as Vice (HBO) or True Life (MTV). Sadly, schedule conflicts prevented This American Life didn’t comeback for a third season. Ira Glass has share interest in doing a special sometime in a future.
Though This American Life would not be on television for a while, it did open up some opportunities for the Ira Glass and the creators to make shift to another medium. Matter of fact, with 601 episodes (Yeah, I said 601!), it could be adapted and inspired new works, especially if it has a catchy tune. A few months ago, I listened to a random episode on This American Life. It was about a boy falling in love with a girl. She sorta flirts with him and he flirts back. Typical high school stuff. The twist of the story is that she’s a #########. I don’t want to spoil it for you, I’ll let you listen to the story and see what’s it about.
Let’s just say that its one hell of a story! It’s good enough to be a short film, or a musical. Would you listen to a musical. Ira Glass and Lin Manuel Miranda teamed up to create a musical based on that story.
And their are so many more projects that were inspired by This American Life. But I’ll have to explain that next time.
Until we meet again my friends, Peace.