Jon Ponder and Tracy Pattin, who have previously teamed on Wondery’s Hollywood & Crime podcast, are taking another run at Hollywood scandals in a new series they are creating for Variety and iHeartPodcasts. There is, after all, no shortage of celebrity-laced true crime stories to tell as evidenced by episode one, titled “Sex for Fame, Hollywood’s Ugliest Game.” The show, Variety Confidential, examines the notorious casting couch and sexual predation through the decades.
“As a society, we continue to be fascinated with the true crime genre and the emotional rollercoaster these stories take us on,” said Will Pearson, President of iHeartPodcasts. “We are excited to partner with Variety on this new podcast, which will combine their incredible archive of stories with first-hand insider perspectives. This will be a podcast true crime fans won’t want to miss.”
The six-episode season will draw parallels between recent sex scandals and those of the past illustrating that sexual predators in the industry are as old as the Hollywood Hills. It is much different than the glossy portrait that Variety typically paints of the entertainment industry.
“With the true crime genre ranking among the most popular in podcasting, it seems a natural fit for Variety to bring to life some of the crime stories from our archives,” said Variety’s Chief Operating and Marketing Officer Dea Lawrence, who is also one of the podcast’s creators, along with EVP of Content and Executive Editor Steve Gaydos.
Pattin will host and Sydney Kramer, Managing Director and Senior Executive Producer for the Variety Content Studio, will produce along with Ponder. On the series, commentary will be provided from Variety insiders such as Co-Editor-in-Chief Cynthia Littleton, Executive Editor of Film and Television Tatiana Siegel, and Chief Correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister.
Variety Confidential will launch its first two episodes on September 18 and will follow with a weekly release of the remaining four episodes.