Stitcher’s hit documentary podcast Heaven’s Gate produced just ten episodes, the last of which was released in Dec. 2017. But illustrating the potential for podcasters to license their intellectual property, the show is now being made into a television series. CNN Originals will produce a four-part docuseries that will air as part of its program slate on HBO Max, the soon-to-launch subscription video service. Both companies are owned by Warner Media.
Hosted by Glynn Washington, Heaven’s Gate told the story behind the formation of the Heaven’s Gate cult and its members’ 1997 mass suicide, the largest in U.S. history.
Two years after its initial launch, Heaven’s Gate remains “an enduring hit” within the Stitcher catalog, Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn says. “The tremendous success of this documentary podcast is a testament to the power of this medium to thoughtfully explore events that captivate people across the globe,” he said in a statement. “We are thrilled that the original reporting for this series will serve as the framework for telling the story from behind the camera lens to reach even more engaged audiences.”
The TV docuseries is being directed by Clay Tweel and produced by Ross Dinerstein of Campfire, the film and television production company known for Netflix documentary series “The Innocent Man” and Emmy-nominated Netflix Originals series “Special.” The series is executive produced by Stitcher's Peter Clowney, Erik Diehn, Eric Spiegelman and Chris Bannon.
The original Heaven’s Gate podcast was produced by Jenna Weiss-Berman and Max Linsky from Pineapple Street Studios, in collaboration with Stitcher’s Peter Clowney and Chris Bannon.