The subscription podcast platform Luminary is ringing in 2020 with four new exclusive podcasts from some big names. And a majority of producers who signed with Luminary during its first year remain, even as a handful of shows are no longer included on the list.
The new podcasts set to debut this year include a new true crime miniseries about the 1964 murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington. The resulting trial rocked the country and became a time capsule of all the racial tension, scandal, and distrust of the 1960s. Journalist Soledad O’Brien hosts the still-untitled show that is being produced by FilmNation Entertainment with Neon Hum Media.
Luminary is also adding a show called The Black List Podcast. Co-hosted by Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen, the podcast will showcase select unproduced film scripts as contemporary radio plays. Leonard has a good line into such scripts since he is the founder of The Black List, the yearly publication highlighting Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays. The Black List podcast will also feature in-depth conversations with filmmakers, producers, and creators of all kinds. The podcast will be executive produced by Jimmy Miller and Hans Sahni for Ninth Planet Audio, the podcast production arm of Mosaic Media.
Another new show coming to Luminary this year is Lies We Tell. Created by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, the show contemplates the mysteries of deception and all of its manifestations. It will be hosted by Alex Gibney and Ellen Horne, who will work with producer Clare Sloane Vance and a team of reporters to explore character-driven puzzles, each with a central lie at the heart of the story.
The final new show that Luminary is announcing is Corner Wolves. The show is a fictional narrative set in Harlem in the mid-90s, by acclaimed writer/journalist Evan Narcisse with music supervision by multi-Platinum, Grammy Award-winning producer Just Blaze. The podcast centers on an Afro-Latina character who is out to avenge her father’s murder. It is set against a backdrop of the convergence of the war on drugs and the birth of hip-hop.
Luminary also announced 11 podcasts will have new seasons debuting on Luminary, including On Second Thought with Trevor Noah and The C-Word with Lena Dunham and Alissa Bennett. It also said a dozen other shows currently running on Luminary will continue into 2020 but made no mention of new season for those shows.
“Luminary is thrilled to share with podcast listeners top quality content from our talented group of award-winning creators,” said Luminary CEO Simon Sutton in the announcement. “At Luminary, we want to be the network where creators go to do their best work, and listeners come to discover quality audio content, and we’ll have even more 2020 content to announce soon,” he added.
A few shows will also no longer be Luminary Originals. Political consultant and cable news analyst David Axelrod announced this week that The Axe Files will return to its original home at CNN Audio. Two other podcasts that were part of Luminary’s launch, Deep Background and Sonic Boom, are also no longer listed as Luminary shows. Both released their final episodes in November.
Launched last April with a reported $100 million in funding, Luminary has been testing Americans’ appetite for subscription podcasts. It hasn’t released any information about how many subscribers it has but the company now promotes itself as a “free podcast app and premium subscription content network”