Over the last several years, podcasts have become increasingly popular. Reminiscent of the radio shows that existed before TV, podcasts take listeners on a journey that can include the best of entertainment and education. Instead of listening to music during long car rides or while doing work, there are lots of people who prefer to put on an interesting podcast. The great thing about podcasts is that they offer a wide variety of options and they tend to bring out the best in storytelling. On top of that, podcasts are more accessible than some other forms of media because they are typically free and available to anyone who has internet access. While there are already several podcasts that have been turned into shows, there are plenty more that we think have the potential to really light up the screen. Keep reading to see our list of 15 podcasts that would make great TV shows.
1. Serial (Season 1)
The first season of Serial is often credited with popularizing the true crime podcast genre. Hosted by journalist Sarah Koenig, season one of serial dives into the murder of a high school student named Hae Min Lee who was killed in 1999. Hae’s ex-boyfriend and classmate, Adnan Sayad, was eventually charged, tried, and convicted of the killing. However, he has always maintained his innocence and many believe that he was wrongfully convicted. During the podcast, Sarah takes a deep look into the case and interviews many of the people who were involved including Adnan. Sarah presents both sides of the argument and lets listeners come to their own conclusion on Adan’s innocence or guilt. Adnan’s case has been featured in several true crime TV shows, but Serial itself has never been turned into a TV show. Putting Serial in TV would introduce it to a wider audience. Even though the case has technically already been solved, a wider audience could potentially lead to new information/tips on the case.
2. Up And Vanished
Up and Vanished is another true crime podcast that blends creative storytelling with presenting hard facts. This podcast was actually inspired by Serial, so in some ways, it follows a very similar format. The show is hosted by Payne Lindsey and covered a different case each season. One of the things that makes Up and Vanished so interesting is the fact that it focuses on cases of people who have mysteriously disappeared. Since all of the cases that have been featured on Up and Vanished are unsolved, making the podcast into a TV show could prove to be very helpful when it comes to tracking down suspects.
3. The Just Enough Family
The Just Enough Family is still in its first season, but it’s already attracted a large audience. The show is interesting, entertaining, and suspenseful. According to the show’s official description, The Just Enough Family is about “the meteoric rise and staggering fall of the Steinbergs, once one of America’s richest families, through the eyes of Liz Lange— successful fashion designer, captivating storyteller, and niece of the infamous corporate raider Saul Steinberg.” Although the Steinberg family is at the center of the show, the podcast is about more than the story of just one family. It’s an interesting look at the dynamics of relationships between loved ones and the ways in which money can come between them. The Just Enough Family has all of the makings of a great TV show, and it would be awesome to see the Steinberg family’s story come to life in a new way.
4. Electric Easy
Electric Easy is a science fiction podcast, but even if sci-fi isn’t your thing you might still find yourself getting sucked into thanks to its awesome storyline. The podcast is set in a futuristic version of Los Angeles where humans and robots are struggling to co-exist. Although the theme of humans clashing with robots isn’t anything new, Electric Easy is fresh and dinteresting. Most people who have listened to Electric Easy will probably agree that they’ve stretched their imagination pretty far trying to imagine what some of the things described in the show look like. For that reason, TV would be the perfect format to really add an extra layer of detail to the podcast. At the same time, however, if the podcast ever did become a TV show, producers would have to be very careful in making sure they re-tell the story as close to the original as possible.
5. The Lower Bottoms
Gentrification is something that has been a hot-button issue for many years, and The Lower Bottoms is addressing it in a creative way. The fictional podcast follows a group of people who live in a neighborhood in Oakland, CA called The Lower Bottoms. The area is being gentrified which has a different impact on all of the people in the area. In a lot of ways, The Lower Bottoms already feels like it’s ready to make its way to TV. It was created by film director Will Packer and it features the rich detail people have come to expect from his projects. Plus, the cast of The Lower Bottoms already features some pretty talented actors so it would be awesome to see them all reprise their roles on screen.
6. Someone Knows Something
Someone Knows Something is a Canada-based true crime podcast hosted by David Ridgen. Like Up and Vanished, Someone Knows Something also follows unsolved cases although many of them have been cold for several years. In addition to doing his own research, David also conducts interviews in an attempt to gain new information. David’s narration style is intriguing and he has a way of presenting each case in a way that really draws listeners in. The entire true crime genre has really become popular over the last several years – in podcasts and on TV. For that reason, we feel that Someone Knows Something is another true crime podcast that would work well on TV.
7. Meet Cute
If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, Meet Cute is a podcast that you’ll definitely want to add to your list of things to listen to. Although each episode lasts for just 15 minutes, they still feel complete. In episode one, viewers are introduced to a woman named Katherine who works as an HR supervisor and a new hire named Will who has a crush on her. Since each episode is not contained, viewers will get to follow Katherine and Will’s story over the course of the podcast. Meet Cute is still a fairly new podcast, but we have a feeling it’ll be around for a long time. Romantic comedies typically tend to do well on screen and Meet Cute definitely has the potential to be a good one.
8. Up Against the Mob
There’s something about stories that involve the mafia that people can’t seem to get enough of. However, while many of those stories are fictional, Up Against the Mob is all about shedding light on real situations involving members of the mafia. The podcast is hosted by Elie Honig who worked as a state prosecutor in New York and New Jersey for nearly 15 years. In the podcast, he talks about some of the interesting encounters he had, and many of them would be perfect for TV.
Heavyweight is one of those podcasts that truly has a little something for everyone. During each episode, the show’s host, Jonathan Goldstein, attempts to help someone find closure for an issue from their past. This issue could be anything from an estranged relationship to a positive encounter with a stranger. Heavyweight is relatable and interesting and it would be cool to see some of the stories on the podcast be made into TV show episodes.
10. To Live and Die in L.A.
Each year, countless people flock to Los Angeles with hopes of making it in the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, most of these people never become the stars they dreamed of being. Sadly, for some people, their fate is even worse than a failed career. That is what To Live and Die in L.A. focuses on. Both seasons of the podcast are about aspiring actresses in Los Angeles who disappeared without a trace. These true stories are riveting and heartbreaking. However, without the podcast, many people would never have known about them. Since To Live and Die in L.A. focuses on the stories of actresses, it’s only right that their stories be brought to the screen.
Hurricane Katrina is one of the worst natural disasters in recent American history. Although nothing can be done about the weather, many felt that the city of New Orleans was not adequately prepared to handle the storm. Floodlines is a podcast that dives into a side of the events of Hurricane Katrina that many people are unaware of. From rumors to negligence, this podcast enlightens listeners in ways they could’ve never imagined. Seeing this story brought to the screen would make it even more powerful.
No one likes a scammer, but unfortunately, that has never stopped anyone from scamming. Swindled dives into different stories of white-collar crime including elaborate cons and corporate corruption. The show’s host has chosen to remain anonymous, which adds to the element of suspense the show has. After listening to Swindled, you’ll probably start to look at everything with a more skeptical lens and that’s part of what would make it great for TV.
13. The Dropout
Sometimes the truth is more entertaining than fiction and The Dropout is a great example. This podcast tells the true story of a woman named Elizabeth Holmes who was poised to be one of the next biggest names in the tech field. In 2003, she founded a healthcare technology company called Theranos which sought to revolutionize blood testing. However, after its initial success, information revealed that Elizabeth cut some serious corners. The Dropout follows the rise and fall of her journey and there’s no doubt this podcast will eventually make it to our TV screens.
At this point, even the most desperate criminals know that robbing an armored car is a terrible idea. However, that hasn’t stopped some people from trying – and some have actually succeeded. Armored highlights some of the most infamous armed robberies in the United States and it interviews some of the people responsible with solving these cases.
As far as I know, there hasn’t been another TV series that focuses on this subject so it looks like there’s a nice gap that Armored could successfully fill.
15. Maintenance Phase
Fake news has been running rampant over the last few years, and Maintenance Phase is doing its part to debunk some of the myths surrounding health and wellness. Not only does this podcast teach listeners new things, but it also helps them understand where lots of misinformation stems from.