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The Black Tapes Podcast Is Becoming a TV Show at NBC

The cover art for The Black Tapes.
The cover art for The Black Tapes.
Image: The Black Tapes Podcast

From Limetown to Homecoming, it looks like fictional podcasts are having their moment. Next up: NBC has announced that it’s turning the supernatural podcast The Black Tapes into a television series.

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As reported by Deadline, NBC is working on an adaptation of The Black Tapes. It’s a fictional podcast that tells the story of a reporter named Alex Reagan (voiced by Lori Henry) working to uncover the truth behind a series of supposedly supernatural occurrences that paranormal investigator Dr. Richard Strand (voiced by Christian Sloan) has failed to debunk, collated into a group of files called the Black Tapes. The podcast ran from 2015 to 2017 (with more episodes promised earlier this year), ending on a cliffhanger that frustrated some fans.

This is just one of several fictional podcasts that are currently being adapted into shows—no doubt following the success of Amazon’s Homecoming starring Julia Roberts. For example, Facebook Watch recently picked up Limetown, which will star Jessica Biel. FX also nabbed the rights to the iconic horror podcast Welcome to Night Vale last year, though we haven’t heard much about it since. And now that a major network has picked up a supernatural fictional podcast to series, seems like we could see even more adaptations in the near future.

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The series will be helmed by Emerald City co-creator Matthew Arnold, alongside podcast creators Paul Bae and Terry Miles. No expected premiere date has been announced.


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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

Thing is, while the first two seasons of TBT were great, the final season was unlistenable. And its sister-show, TANIS started out promisingly before getting itself stuck in a navel-gazing, repetitive rut. As far as I can tell, the real genius behind TBT was Paul Bae, and as far as I can tell he’s no longer involved, having gone off on his own to create/produce/write THE BIG LOOP (which, by the way, is a pretty stellar linked anthology series you might want to check out if you haven’t).

Point being, it's hard to get excited about an adaptation of a series that took a serious nosedive in quality before it ended, especially when one wonders if the collaborator who originally made it great still has any input. Also, another thing: I don't want to say too much and spoil anything, but if the season two cliffhanger ending of TBT had actually been a final ending, it would have been beyond perfect as a twist ending; which one mentions because one doubts a TV adaptation would have the cojones to end the way TBT should have.