Arguably more noteworthy than what was actually said, is that the weekend’s Produced By conference for Hollywood producers dedicated an entire panel to mining podcasts for content in the first place. The “Power of Podcast” panel was given all the more credibility after the entertainment industry watched as podcasts like Dirty John and Homecoming have translated into successful television series.
Eli Horowitz, the creator of the Gimlet Media fictional thriller Homecoming which starred Hollywood names like Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer, told the crowd that there still can be a “we wish it wasn't a podcast, we wish it was a TV show” attitude by some in L.A. but that didn’t affectwhat they produced. Instead, as the Hollywood Reporter details, Horowitz said he used the Amazon TV adaption to fill in a lot of the details that weren’t included in the original podcast. It doesn’t, he said, change the story, but rather draw a more complete sketch.
"We didn't even say what the building was like, we didn't do all sorts of things [in the podcast]. We only had to answer the questions that were appearing in the script basically. So once you start asking the questions: What does this place look like? Why does it look like this? Who made it look like this? It just kind of snowballed and then it's almost more of a challenge to hold onto what you need to hold on to because it can take on a life of its own,” Horowitz said.
While Homecoming took some punches for straying from the podcast in its TV adaption, Alexandra Cunningham, a showrunner on Bravo’s TV version of Wondery’s Dirty John said they got criticized for being too much like the podcast. She said podcasts will continue to be one of the places she looks for new show ideas.
“It's another incredible source of IP and it's exploding all the time,” Cunningham said. “If you're in my position, you'd be a fool to not try to consume as much of it as possible.”