MollyOfDenali220

A growing number of podcasts are being developed into television shows, but a public radio podcast targeted toward kids is using a podcast as a prequel for what will become a TV series. Public media’s PRX and Boston’s WGBH have partnered with Gen-Z Media to produce what’s described as an “action-adventure podcast” for kids. Molly of Denali is an eight-part series designed as a prequel to the new PBS Kids animated series of the same name. The television series is set to premiere July 15 on PBS stations across the U.S. 

Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX, tells The Current that it sees the podcast and TV show as complements to one another. “While we invite audiences to listen before the television program premieres, audiences who meet Molly first by way of television will be able to listen to the podcast at any time and hear a new story.” 

As Podcast News Dailyreported last month, the podcast tells the story of Molly Mabray, a young girl who lives in the fictional Alaskan town of Qyah, where her parents run the Denali Trading Post. The series is the first nationally distributed U.S. kids’ show to feature a Native American lead. It will release episodes through July 11, acting as a lead-in to the TV series, which begins airing four days later. There are also social media and blog components. 

“We’re trying to reach kids wherever they are,” Hoffman says. 

Adds Dorothea Gillim, creator and Executive Producer of the series, “They’re watching live TV, they’re streaming TV and — now more than ever — they’re listening to podcasts. Podcasts and audio give us this great opportunity to explore some of the oral traditions and storytelling of Alaska Natives.” She tells The Current she’s a “big fan” of Gen-Z-targeted programming, including the Peabody Award-winning podcast “The Unexplained Disappearance of Mars Patel” for kid’s podcast company Pinna.