Listeners are flocking to S-Town.
The Southern Gothic podcast from the creators of Serial and This American Life was downloaded more than 10 million times in its first four days of release, EW has confirmed. By comparison, the hugely popular first season of Serial took seven weeks to reach that milestone, according to Variety, but those episodes were released weekly, while all seven episodes of S-Town were made available on March 28.
Executive producer Julie Snyder recently told EW that the decision to release all the episodes at once “wasn’t strategic, it was more editorial.” She added, “We went back and forth on it for a while. I didn’t feel like there was anything added by waiting a week in between for this story because it has such a different aesthetic and a different feel. It felt like a novel and we had talked about that a lot. You don’t have to wait a week to read a novel.”
The new mystery tells of a man named John, who asked This American Life to investigate the son of a wealthy family for bragging about getting away with murder. By the end of the first episode, the path diverts towards something else entirely.
Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, Starlee Kine, and Neil Drumming serve as editorial advisors on S-Town, which is the first of three original podcasts from the newly erected production company Serial Productions.
—With reporting from Oliver Gettell