New This Week 220

It’s said inspiration comes for everything, and this week’s lineup of new podcasts demonstrates that. From a viral Reddit post that creates a horror series to a personal experience of being duped by a con artist that leads to the tale in a true crime series. There are also new shows that take on urban legends and what movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes get wrong. Podcasting also welcomes new hosts like TV’s Jon Stewart and a pair of “Dance Mom” alums.

Here’s some of what’s new this week in podcasting – 

Queen of the Con: The Irish Heiress is a new podcast from AYR Media and iHeartRadio. The series is a recounting the story of Marianne “Mair” Smyth. She was the international con artist who scammed her way through Hollywood from 2013 to 2017. The podcast is hosted by Jonathan Walton, an Emmy Award-winning TV show producer who is also Mair’s best friend-turned-victim. Walton will shares his personal history with the con artist who stole his life savings and his arduous quest to bring the woman to justice. His world was shattered when one day, after trying to help Mair out of a legal “snafu,” he discovered she was not the Irish heiress she claimed to be—but instead, a pathological liar and intentional con artist who scammed him and others out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each week, listeners will dive deeper into con after con – involving BDSM sex rings, witchcraft, a phony cancer diagnosis and the scamming of a Los Angeles politician – as Walton and other victims band together bring Mair Smyth to justice. 

The Burned Photo is a new horror podcast from QCode. Based on the viral Reddit post of the same name, and produced in partnership with the horror icons at Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring, The Grudge, IT), the thriller, created by author Nicole Exposito and based on a popular Reddit/No Sleep thread.

“This has been an amazing, humbling experience,” said show creator Nicole Exposito. “I’m so lucky to have been given this opportunity to work with so many talented people: Jeremy and Kwynn, the teams at Vertigo and QCode, and the brilliant cast.”

The Burned Photo follows as two strangers uncover a generational curse responsible for years of misfortune, torment, and death brought upon their families. As they dig deeper into their ancestry, the women quickly realize they must work together to put an end to the mysterious curse before there is nothing left of their bloodlines.

“The opportunity to partner with QCode is something we’ve been eager to do and we couldn’t be more excited that it happened as a result of Nicole’s incredible short story,” said Vertigo Entertainment founder, Roy Lee. “Horror fans and scripted podcast fans are in for a real treat.”

The podcast will star Charmaine Bingwa (The Good Fight) and Katherine McNamara (The Flash). Exposito wrote the seven-episode series alongside directors Jeremy Novick (Blackout) and Kwynn Perry. 

“We could not be more excited about our partnership with Vertigo Entertainment and Nicole Exposito on this podcast,” said QCode CEO Rob Herting. “Nicole’s amazing writing and Roy’s undeniable expertise in this genre have been invaluable and we can’t wait for listeners to dive into this mind-bending thriller.” 

New episodes will be released every Thursday. 

Finding Lauren is a new true crime podcast from One Fourteen Productions. It explores the story of the disappearance of college student Lauren Spierer. On June 3rd, 2011, 20-year-old Lauren Spierer disappeared after a night out partying with a group of college students at Indiana University. She was never seen again. The series is hosted by Kyra Breslin, the granddaughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jimmy Breslin, who was attending Indiana University during this time and living in the aftermath of this tragedy. The series consists of five episodes to be released weekly. Each episode is based on Breslin’s experience and recollection, student interviews, media clips, and expert source interviews.

“Lauren’s disappearance was a defining factor in my college experience and something I have continued to think about,” says Breslin. “When listening to hours of other true crime podcasts it always struck me why more hasn’t been done on her and how we still have no idea what happened to her that night. I certainly do not have all the answers. In fact, there is so much more I wish I knew. But what I do have is a story and memory of what it was like to attend Indiana University at this time with rumors and theories constantly being discussed. I hope that telling my story will continue to keep her story alive and help bring her family justice.” 

Breslin graduated from Indiana University in 2014 and now owns a public relations firm in New York.

The Problem with Jon Stewart is a new weekly podcast from Apple. The show is a companion to Stewart’s Apple TV+ show. The Problem With Jon Stewart explores complex topics through the differing perspectives of stakeholders, experts and individuals confronting these challenges. The companion series podcast will expand upon the conversation from each episode, featuring staff members from across the show who will have conversations with activists in the space, share facts on the issue, and of course, bring plenty of jokes.

Hailing from a multi-year partnership with Apple TV+, “The Problem With Jon Stewart” will be hosted and executive produced by Stewart through his Busboy Productions. The series is executive produced by showrunner Brinda Adhikari, alongside Stewart’s longtime manager James Dixon, and Richard Plepler through his Eden Productions, which has an exclusive overall production deal with Apple. Chris McShane is co-executive producer, Lorrie Baranek is supervising producer, and Chelsea Devantez is head writer.

NPR's Book of the Day is a new podcast from NPR. It is a daily quick listen: author interviews that illuminate the ideas and issues of our time, and literary conversations curated from NPR's archive. The podcast will offer a mix of genre fiction, literary fiction and nonfiction, as well as showcase interviews with authors of color and female writers. 

"Whether you check in with us every day or save up episodes to binge on the weekend, we hope NPR's Book of the Day will help you find a new book to love – or help you convince your friends you've already read that big book they're buzzing about – all in the same time it takes to make a cup of coffee," said Petra Mayer, NPR culture desk books editor. 

Episodes of NPR's Book of the Day will run between 10 and 15 minutes long, and will appear in feeds by early morning. 

Take 20 with Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler is a new podcast from iHeartRadio. It is hosted by “Dance Mom” alums Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler as they decompress and discuss everything from mental health to body image, sisterhood, relationships and more. Episodes are only 20 minutes long to fit perfectly into a listener’s schedule when they are needing a break, escape or just some good friends to lean on and laugh with.

What the Hack with Adam Levin is a new consumer affairs show from The Podglomerate that makes getting scammed, hacked, phished or cyber bushwhacked seem a little less terrifying. It is one part true crime whodunnit (or what happened) and one part how to fix it. Every week the "What the Hack?" crew talks to people about some of the most terrifying (or annoying, embarrassing, infuriating) things that ever happened to them in cyberspace. "What the Hack?" tells you what happened, what you can do next and how to keep whatever it was from happening again. It is hosted by Adam Levin, founder of CyberScout and co-founder of Credit.com, and the former Director of Consumer Affairs for the State of New Jersey. It will also feature commentary from Travis Taylor, and Beau Friedlander, the founder of radical publisher Context Books, has worked on cybercrime with Adam for more than a decade.

Urban Legends with the Ghost Brothers is a new podcast from Discovery+. The series features the Ghost Brothers Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey – who chat about the craziest myths and legends with the help of top paranormal investigators, celebrities and friends. Each of the 10 episodes will focus on one urban legend and feature the history of where it came from and when and conversations with experts and celebrities to uncover the truth. We all know the stories: Bloody Mary, the Chupacabra, Candyman ... urban legends that have been around for decades, sometimes centuries, and still haunt us today. But are they real? The Urban Legends With the Ghost Brothers podcast is produced by Neon Hum for Discovery+, with Jonathan Hirsch and Shara Morris as executive producers. Marissa Lucy is executive producer for Discovery+. Episodes drop weekly on Thursdays, beginning October 7. 

Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong is a new film-focused podcast from the website Rotten Tomatoes. In this weekly podcast, hosts Jacqueline Coley, an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, and Mark Ellis, a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes, and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.” New episodes will drop every Thursday morning. 

They Walk Among America is a new podcast from the trial and true crime network Law&Crime. The series – a spinoff of the U.K. true crime podcast They Walk Among Us– will follow similar format of the U.K. show as it and cover tales of murder and mystery in the United States.

“September 2021 marked five years since we started They Walk Among Us,” said husband and wife hosts Benjamin and Rosanna Fitton. “With the launch of our new podcast series, They Walk Among America, we could not think of a better home than Law&Crime. Offering a wealth of experience and providing first-class coverage and analysis of the American court system, Law&Crime will help elevate the production of our new venture and expand our reach to a broader audience.”

Andrew Eisbrouch, Law&Crime’s COO, called They Walk Among Us one of the most respected and downloaded true crime podcasts. “We’re thrilled to work with Ben and Rosanna on an American spinoff,” he said.

How Did We Get Weird is a new talk-show style podcast from iHeartRadio and Will Ferrell's Big Money Players Network. The show features the comedic sibling duo Vanessa and Jonah Bayer who reminisce about everything from the toys and trends that shaped their youth. They also feature guests. 

The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast is a new sports series from Sports Business Journal and the New York Post. It will be hosted by Andrew Marchand of The Post and SBJ’s John Ourand. They will cover the sports media business beyond the buzzer, including the biggest newsmakers, network happenings, ratings and industry trends. 

“We are excited to partner with Sports Business Journal and bring together these two iconic voices in sports media,” said Sean Giancola, CEO of The New York Post. “The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast will be a must-listen for every sports fan and we’re looking forward to extending the Post’s sports coverage with this exciting new addition.”

“The New York Post draws smart, knowledgeable readers who fully know and appreciate their sports,” said Abe Madkour, Publisher and Executive Editor of the Sports Business Journal. “We can’t wait to combine their following with Sports Business Journal’s base of industry professionals and have everyone hear the two leading voices in sports media discuss and debate the biggest stories of the day.”

Episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays starting Oct. 6.

Best New Ideas In Money is a new financial podcast. It explores innovations that rethink how we live, work, spend, save and invest. MarketWatch editor Jeremy Olshan and economist Stephanie Kelton will talk to leaders in business, tech, finance and government about the next phase of money's evolution, and meet real people whose lives are being changed as these new ideas are put to the test. New episodes will be released each Thursday.

Big Texas Bossin’ is a new podcast from Lalanii Wilson-Jones. Lalanii has developed more than twelve thriving organizations from start-up to triumph, and she will use her expertise, along with features from celebrity guests, experts, and luminaries from various fields having candid conversations to help listeners flourish in life and boss up while doing it. Big Texas Bossin’ will feature 60-minute episodes every quarterly season. Each episode will tackle topics ranging from business and lifestyle to fashion as well as a wild card segment that could cover anything from normalizing luxury, to slaying imposter syndrome to the real deal of reality TV when the cameras stop rolling. 

"I've been a working professional and entrepreneur for over 25 years and one of the biggest misconceptions about the process is that you have to go it alone," said Wilson-Jones. "We created Big Texas Bossin' to not only empower aspiring and emerging founders but to let people, particularly Black women, out there crafting their careers and dream lives know that there is a community of people like them who are invested in their growth. My goal with this podcast is to sow seeds of wisdom, know-how, and understanding into our audience so that they can navigate their lives with confidence."

Big Texas Bossin' is co-produced by Trea "The Storyteller'' Davenport, Kayla Tucker Adams; and Felisha Bell.

Second in Command: A Veep Rewatch Podcast is a new series from Kast Media. It features actors Matt Walsh and Timothy Simons who are reuniting to launch their first-ever podcast as they rewatch episodes of the HBO series “Veep” and share exclusive stories from filming, play trivia, answer fan questions, talk with political commentators about the show’s often absurd politics and more. Second in Command will debut October 12.

Quartz Obsession is a new podcast from the news website Quartz. The show is an adaptation of the Weekly Obsession, its newsletter that offers a deep dive into fascinating histories of everyday ideas. Each 20-minute episode features host Kira Bindrim in conversation with a member of our newsroom on a topic they can’t stop thinking about and how it relates to the global economy. Topics range from cash to CAPTCHA, from kudzu to randomness. Quartz Obsession launches October 12. 

Being Home with Hunker is a new podcast from Hunker, one of the largest digital home publications in the U.S. Hosted by Laurie Gunning Grossman, Hunker's Editorial Director, the podcast expands on the brand’s philosophy that good design should be a part of everyday life, exploring how a person’s home environment is a direct expression of their personal identity. Grossman will interview designers, artists and creatives about the ways their home expresses and shapes their identity—and the highly personal design process involved in creating the spaces they call home.

“We launched Hunker as a place for meaningful conversations about design, decor, and the role our homes play in our lives," said Eve Epstein, Hunker's Editor-in-Chief. "With the launch of the Being Home podcast, we're able to expand this conversation to a new platform — one that fosters intimate and inspiring dialogue about the spaces and places that matter most to us. We're thrilled to welcome a roster of leading voices from the creative and entrepreneurial communities to the first season, and can't wait to see where the conversation leads."

New episodes of Being Home With Hunker will be released every Monday.

One Decision is a new podcast hosted by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of the British spy service MI6, and former CNN and NBC News journalist Michelle Kosinski. The show interviews world leaders and those whose choices had an international impact and explores the reasons and often personal risks involved. Many of the stories they share have never before been shared in public. Many of Sir Richard’s insights and candid assessments have never before been heard. The podcast is being produced by the Global Situation Room.

Breaking Anonymity is a new podcast from Timeless Podcast Company and The Orchard. It features co-hosts MC Serch of 3rd Bass and veteran music journalist Kyle Eustice. In each episode, special guests such as Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of Run-DMC, House Of Pain's Danny Boy, Royce Da 5'9 and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's Flesh-n-Bone will explain how they went from hardcore addict to finding serenity with the help of a 12-step program and/or therapy. With a focus on recovery and the gifts it can offer, Breaking Anonymity aims to diminish the stigma surrounding addiction. Running roughly 60 minutes in length, each episode will give the guest a chance to tell their stories, no matter how raw or unfiltered. Some will make you cry, others will make listeners laugh but all will inspire. 

The Amplify Project is a new podcast geared to celebrate and highlight Black British writers, across stage, page and screen in Britain in their own words. The new podcast series - hosted by award-winning writers Patricia Cumper MBE and Pauline Walker, the series explores the backgrounds and ideas of some of Britain’s most influential and innovative writers, their inspirations and the art and craft. Released biweekly, a different guest will discuss their own unique experience of growing up in Britain, being an author, and deep dive into the topics that impacted their lives and their writing, and what it really means to be a Black and British writer and how it has impacted their writing, if at all. Guests on the podcast include Alex Wheatle MBE (author of Brixton Rock and profiled in Steve McQueen’s award-winning BBC drama Small Axe), Colin Grant (author of Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey and His Dream of Mother Africa and Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation), Diana Evans FRSL (London based award-winning, bestselling author), Hafsa Zayyan (author of We Are All Birds of Uganda and winner of Stormzy’s inaugural #Merky Books new writers’ prize), and more. The Amplify Project debuts Oct. 4.

Climate Fight: The World’s Biggest Negotiation is a new podcast series taking you inside the fight for our planet’s future. World leaders, scientists and climate activists will meet in Glasgow for the 26th Conference of the Parties on October 31, to try and agree new targets on emissions reductions that keep this goal in sight. They’ll also discuss how to get there in a fair and just way. In this podcast series, host Jack Marley will speak to some of the experts influencing climate policy, and to some of the people around the world who will see their lives change as a result of it. The first episode will go live via The Anthill Podcast channel on October 6. The Climate Fight podcast series is produced by Tiffany Cassidy. Sound design by Eloise Stevens and the theme tune is by Neeta Sarl. The series editor is Gemma Ware. The show is a spinoff of The Anthill Podcast.

Unholier Than Thou is releasing its second season of the series that is the intersection of the saintly and secular. Over 10 episodes, journalist Phillip Picardi will continue his introspective examination of the role of religion and spirituality in our daily lives through the lenses of pop culture and politics. Springing from the emotional chaos of the pandemic, this season of Crooked Media’s Unholier Than Thou is all about the wisdom of everyday people falling down, getting up, and trying new things as they try to navigate a newish world. Picardi acts as a perceptive guide that curates ideas and actionable advice for listeners on how to feel better, with the help of friends, strangers, and celebrities. 

“The first season of Unholier was a very personal exploration during one of the hardest times we have experienced as a global community. This second season continues that journey as I drive deeper into the connection between us and spirituality of all kinds, with some of the greatest guests I’ve had to date,” said Picardi.

His first guests include recording artist, author and living legend Michelle Williams, former Teen Vogue editor, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, and writers Aminatou Sow and Michael Arceneaux.

“This season, Phillip will invite listeners to explore some of the big questions that we’ve all been asking ourselves in these unprecedented times,” said Sandy Girard, Senior VP of Programming at Crooked Media. “Phillip and his guests will share personal and transformative stories about their careers, relationships with family and friends and how their spiritual practice plays a part in all of this and more.” 

The series will launch its second season on October 8.

Unraveled is releasing its third season. Titled Experts on Trial, co-hosts Alexis Linkletter (The First Degree) and Billy Jensen (The Murder Squad) investigate a crisis in the courts that is decades in the making. The seven-episode season reveals the tragic reality of real cases where innocent people were found guilty of a crime because a self-proclaimed “expert” testified against them. In these courtrooms, innocent until proven guilty is a myth and Unraveled sets its sights to reveal the unjust and unethical methods used to destroy the lives of innocent people. A companion special under the same name will begin streaming on Discovery+ on November 8. 

The first installment of Unraveled featured an “investigation into the investigation” of the Long Island Serial Killer, and the second profiled notorious cyberstalker Jason Chrisopher Hughes, who is believed to have stalked and terrorized upwards of 50 victims across more than a dozen states.

Unraveled: Experts on Trial is produced by Joke Productions with Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, and Jeff Kuntz as executive producers. Tim Baney is executive producer for Discovery+.

Appalachian Mysteria is releasing a new mini-season of the true crime series. In the latest season hosts J. Kendall Perkinson and Sarah James McLaughlin will investigate a 1987 sexual assault case in West Virginia when two women were abducted from a mall parkng lot. Appalachian Mysteria is a production of Jam Street Media/Amaze Media Labs and Kromatic Media. They say a full third season will be released in January. Titled Outlandish, it will tell the story of a lesbian couple who was murdered while hiking the Appalachian Trail. Their death led to the first hat crime prosecution in U.S. history.

Infamous has kicked off its second season. Created by Complex in partnership with Spotify Studios, in this season of the investigative music podcast will investigate YNW Melly’s life, music, and controversial charges the young Gifford, Florida rapper faces in court. Hosted by Ace Hood, the show, follows the murder of YNW Melly’s two best friends, Sakchaser (aka Anthony Williams, 21 years old), and Juvy (aka Christopher Thomas Jr., 19 years old) from the YNW collective. Melly currently, incarcerated awaiting trial for his alleged participation in this crime faces life imprisonment or the death penalty, if convicted. Unprecedented in this case, prosecutors are using lyrics from his breakout hit “Murder On My Mind,” against him as evidence in court, which tells the fictional story of accidentally killing a friend. Infamous: The Story of YNW Melly features eight episodes, with new episodes released every week featuring interviews from the YNW circle. 

Once Upon a Time… at Bennington College is a new season of the documentary podcast from C13 Originals. The second season of the Once Upon a Time podcast franchise created by L.A. Times bestselling writer, Lili Anoli, explores the Bennington College Class of ‘86 and the slam-bang cultural impact of three of its members, Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Donna Tartt, Gen X’s greatest chroniclers. 

This is, in my opinion, the biggest story I’ve ever attempted. It’s the story not just of three of the most important writers of a generation, but of the generation, period. And I’m thrilled to be doing it with C13Originals, which has in profusion the qualities you want most in a partner: vision, passion, and nerve,” said Anolik, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.

New episodes will drop on Wednesdays throughout the season. 

The Bookshop Podcast is committed to helping independent bookshops worldwide thrive by highlighting these gems of the community and illuminating the wonders of words on a page.

Each Monday, host Mandy Jackson-Beverly interviews an indie bookshop owner or manager. She finds out the store's history and what makes it unique, their booksellers, and what customers are reading and loving. The Wednesday editions of The Bookshop Podcast are for interviews with authors and specialists in the humanities, the environment, and other interesting people. Jackson-Beverly is herself a best-selling author, writing coach, public speaker, and a book reviewer for the New York Journal of Books