The investigative podcast that became a cultural phenomenon is finally coming back with a brand new season.
Serial initially explored the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the subsequent imprisonment of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. Its sophomore season followed American Army soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held for five years by the Taliban and later charged with desertion. Now, the series is set to tackle the entire criminal justice system by illustrating a year inside Cleveland criminal courts for season 3.
Hosted by journalist Sarah Koenig, the Peabody Award-winning Serial has more than 16 million downloads per episode, making it the most popular podcast ever released. With such a wide reach, Koenig chose to use the show’s tremendous platform to expose shocking behind the scenes details of criminal court procedures. The radio personality and reporter Emmanuel Dzotsi spent a year working on the forthcoming season, for which they were given permission to record inside courtrooms, judges’ chambers, back hallways, and attorneys’ offices. The show will take listeners through the sometimes unsettling ways in which crimes are investigated and tried.
“Every case Emmanuel and I followed, there came a point where we thought: No, this can’t be how it works,” said Koenig in a press release. “And then we were like, Oh! Oh my god. This is how it works! This is how it happens! People who work in the system, or have been through the system, they know this. But millions more people do not. And for the past year I’ve had this urgent feeling of wanting to kind of hold open the courthouse door, and wave people inside. Because things are happening — shocking things, fascinating things — in plain sight.”
The first two episodes will debut on Sep 20, with each additional episode premiering weekly on Thursdays. Several stories will be highlighted over the course of the season, with some being wrapped into a single episode and others unveiled over multiple installments.
Get a sneak peek of the new season at the link above. Listeners can hear Serial for free via podcast apps such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Pandora.