Podcasts have become the fanzines of the modern age with shows created to talk about television shows, movie franchises and reality series. The hosts of a podcast created by two fans of the Saturday night staple Dateline were surprised to find they had fans of their own who worked for the NBC true-crime series. Now the two shows are finding success by working together.
The Los Angeles Times reports the podcast, A Date with Dateline, caught the attention of Dateline senior associate director and coordinating producer Susan Nalle two years ago when she saw people referring to the podcast on Twitter. On the show co-hosts Kimberly Arnold and Katie Mitchell share their thoughts on each week’s episode of the long-running NBC series. A year later at CrimeCon they met several Dateline staffers, and that led to three guest appearances on the podcast by Dateline correspondent Josh Mankiewicz.
Viewing the podcast as a way to help promote the television show, NBC recently used their relationship with Arnold and Mitchell when it launched its own podcast, the six-part series The Thing About Pam in September. NBC released the show to the podcasters who in turn recorded a pair of companion podcasts recapping the series. How much the promotion helped, it’s hard to say, but NBC reports The Thing About Pam has been downloaded more than four million times.
True-crime is one of podcasting’s hottest genres and A Date with Dateline averages about 20,000 downloads per episode. Arnold told the L.A. Times that many fans of the show say it gives them an outlet. “A lot of people write in and say ‘My friends won’t watch ‘Dateline’ with me. I’m by myself at my apartment screaming to no one. So, I go and listen to you guys,” she said.
Arnold and Mitchell have now also begun moving beyond “Dateline” with a spin-off podcast that recaps episodes of the “The Great British Baking Show” on PBS. The podcast is called A Date with The Bake.