Podcast round-up: Big Light partners with Audible & Vespucci for crime slate; Cream Productions launches podcast division

Frank Spotnitz

Big Light partners with Audible & Vespucci for crime slate

London-and-Paris-based indie Big Light Productions has ventured into podcast production for the first time, partnering with audiobook and podcast service Audible and multimedia incubator Vespucci to develop and produce a series of scripted and unscripted AudibleOriginal crime podcasts.

The podcasts will either cover or be inspired by real crimes, with writer and producer Franz Spotnitz, founder of The Man In The High Castle prodco Big Light, serving as creative lead across the development slate. He will also executive produce alongside Big Light’s Emily Feller, while Vespucci will provide stories incubated via its extensive consortium of journalists.

Two original series are already greenlit for delivery, the first is planned to launch on Audible later this year and is a scripted drama titled Mask of Sanity. It stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game Of Thrones), who will co-produce under his Ill Kippers Productions banner, with partner, co-founder and series writer, Joe Derrick. Ill Kippers’ Vice President, Jeffrey Chassen will also serve as co-producer.

Based on a true story by Bulgarian journalist, Dimiter Kenarov, Mask of Sanity follows the story of a journalist reporting on a serial killer, but with a secret of his own.

Also underway is Killer Book Club, a documentary true crime thriller exploring the case of British private school teacher and novelist Peter Farquhar who was murdered by church warden Benjamin Field, his much younger lover and former student. The series is created by Gillian Pachter (The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story) and Julia Nottingham (XY Chelsea) and her production company Dorothy St Pictures.

Big Light’s Frank Spotnitz and Emily Feller commented: “It’s so exciting for Big Light to be taking this step into podcasts. With writers being central to the process, we love creating big stories with complex characters, and our partnership with Audible and Vespucci allows us to explore a different way of telling them.”

David Brady

Cream Productions launches podcast division

Canada’s Cream Productions has launched a new podcast division, with plans to create, develop and produce non-fiction audio programming, with a focus on original content and spin-offs of its current televised and streaming programming.

Cream’s first podcast docuseries, CNN Audio’s Behind The Desk: The Story Of Late Night, is set to debut next week on 22 April, and will serve as a companion to its televised CNN Original series, The Story Of Late Night.

Upcoming projects in development include My Pop’s Culturea 10-part father-and-son podcast, hosted by Marshall and Ben Kaplan that bridges the pop-culture gap between the Gen-X and Millennial generations and is slated for a summer 2021 release.

“Penetrating the podcast landscape is a natural progression for Cream, allowing us to broaden our expertise in premium documentary; delve deeper with companion podcast series; and test and explore new content,” said David Brady, CEO of Cream Productions.

“On the heels of Behind the Desk: The Story of Late Night, My Pop’s Culture promises to be a laugh-out-loud experience bolstered by podcasting’s non-traditional, non-linear format.”

The podcast is executive produced for Cream by James Farr and Johnny Kalangis, with production support from Wafa Ktaech and Chris Cobain of The Wilders.

Cream’s televised productions include Netflix docuseries Age Of Samurai: Battle For Japan, with Brady recently telling TBI that the show was “the zenith of our ability so far.”

Other factual projects include All Or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs for Amazon, Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan for Animal Planet and CNN’s History Of Sitcom.

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