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Apple Podcasts Names ‘Wiser Than Me’ Its 2023 Show Of The Year.


Lemonada Media’s Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been selected by Apple Podcasts as the Show of the Year for 2023. The podcast, which debuted in February, spent 29 days as the No. 1 show on Apple Podcasts’ U.S. charts this year, the most of any podcast in 2023. Wiser Than Me was also among the top 10 most followed and most shared shows of 2023 in the U.S., and it also ranks No. 55 on Apple’s Top New Shows for 2023 in the U.S.


Wiser Than Me debuted with actress Jane Fonda as its first guest on April 11, setting the tone for the show that showcases older, wiser women that Louis-Dreyfus, now 62, says the media often overlooks.


“All of these women have demonstrated how to live a life,” Louis-Dreyfus says of her guests. “That doesn’t mean they didn’t make mistakes, but there’s something about being older where perhaps you feel not as protective in terms of sharing. And so I’ve taken advantage of the intimacy that offers. That availability to be real and to be open is a great gift.”


Wiser Than Me released 10 episodes with 10 bonus episodes for Lemonada Premium subscribers on Apple Podcasts. Other guests included actress Carol Burnett, singer Darlene Love, and author Amy Tan.


“Carol Burnett was a huge part of my life growing up in a way, without me even realizing she was a huge part of my life,” Louis-Dreyfus says. “She was a part of the fabric of our culture. And as a woman, she really modeled a female power that sort of got into my bones without my even realizing it.”


Apple says the show’s popularity and accolades are “a testament to its refreshingly authentic approach to amplifying the voices of older, wiser women” and says the podcast is encouraging intergenerational listening.


Apple also credits what it says is the show’s “off-the-cuff structure” such as when severe weather interrupted Louis-Dreyfus’ interview with Fonda, forcing her to reschedule the rest of the interview with Fonda. Instead of editing it out in post-production, the podcast leans into the moment, allowing listeners a peek behind the scenes as Louis-Dreyfus’s recorder continues to roll.


“That’s why the show is so real. You’re dealing with somebody like Julia, who’s so well-known and beloved, but her internet goes out, and it offered this amazing peek behind the curtains,” says Stephanie Wittels Wachs, co-founder and CCO of Lemonada Media. “I think having that as episode one made it so accessible for listeners, and that energy just kept going throughout the series.”


Wittels Wachs also credits Louis-Dreyfus’s willingness to stretch the bounds of the typical interview-podcast format. “Julia never wants to have a typical conversation,” she says. “She wants to play and weave and bob, and do all the fun things that you expect from something unexpected.”


Based on the success of its first season, Lemonada Media has renewed Wiser Than Me for a new season. It will debut next spring.


Lemonada co-founder and CEO Jessica Cordova Kramer credits the accessibility of Apple Podcasts with helping the show reach new audiences. “Apple does a great job of showcasing diverse shows of different kinds, following whatever's happening in the world and helping people discover new things — not just the most popular things,” explains Cordova Kramer. “We love our Lemonada Premium channel because we have a big slate of shows now, and for us, that has been a huge translator of audience overlap.”


She also credits the show’s authenticity as it takes on topics ranging from sex, divorce, politics, and sexism in the workplace, to death and the physical realities of getting older. During the show’s first season, Louis-Dreyfus shared her own struggles after losing a pregnancy, as well as her experience being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.


“The magic of it is that Julia is open about her own journey in ways she never had been before, so you are getting this sort of reciprocity,” says Cordova Kramer “These women don’t need to worry about hair and makeup. They can log on from their bedrooms, their hotel rooms — wherever they are in their busy lives — and they can have this beautiful conversation with this incredible interviewer that is way less guarded and allows for much more authenticity.”


Wittels Wachs says the show is also helping younger people reexamine what they think about aging. “There’s a lot of fear around aging, and I think the podcast is making people excited about it. It’s making it less scary. It’s making it accessible,” she says.


Selected by the Apple Podcasts editorial team, the Show of the Year selection honors one of the biggest shows on its app each year for outstanding quality, innovation and impact in podcasting. The Apple Podcasts team selects the winner based on the quality of the show and considers its placement among the charts.


Previous winners have included Slate’s Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade (2022), Pushkin Industries’ A Slight Change of Plans(2021), and NPR’s Code Switch (2020).

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