Fan of This American Life? So is the team at Will Ferrell’s Big Money Players Network. They’ve just launched a spoof series. Also new this week is a podcast investigation into a spiritual teacher known as Rama. There’s also a husband-and-wife true crime series that features actual audio recordings made by the woman. Plus, a pair of Prince-focused series. New podcasts focused on TV shows “One Tree Hill” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” And a show that asks: What does it mean to be an Olympian?
Here is some of what is new in podcasts this week –
...This Is Americans Live is a new iHeartRadio original podcast from the Big Money Players Network. Th improvised comedy podcast in the style of a popular public radio show of a similar name. However, instead of real stories of American life, This Is Americans Live uses prompts from a random sentence generator to improvise real fake stories with fake real people, in three acts. It is hosted by Aristotle Athiras and Andy Harris, who invite a new special guest contributor each week to help them create improvised stories that sound almost real.
...The What?! Hip Hop Questions, Legends + Lists is a new podcast from iHeartRadio and The Black Effect Podcast Network, the joint venture of iHeart and Charlamagne tha God. Hosted by social commentator Mouse Jones and “Power 105.1” WWPR New York air personality Nyla “The Pretty Tomboy” Symone, each episode of The What? will attempt to get to the bottom of an unanswered question in Hip Hop. The first episode of the biweekly series asks the question: Who is the current queen of rap?
...Smoke Screen: I Am Rama is releasing a new season of its investigative documentary podcast series “Smoke Screen.” The Neon Hum- Sony Music Podcasts show explores the incredible pull of a spiritual teacher known as Rama and the complications around his teachings that ultimately shaped the lives of his dedicated students. Hosted by journalist and Neon Hum founder Jonathan Hirsch, the series also explores Rama’s sudden death by suicide in 1998, and the complex legacy that he left behind. The ten-episode series takes listeners behind the scenes to understand how Rama built up a massive loyal following in the 80s and 90s as a practicing Buddhist teacher and lecturer. The podcast explores the pull of teachers and gurus and specifically why Rama’s teachings struck a powerful chord in so many people.
Hirsch channels his own experience growing up in a “cult” to lend a first-hand account to the narrative and provide context and learning opportunities within this series.
“This is, of course, a story that I am invested in personally, because of my family’s connection to Rama,” said Hirsch. “But it’s much more than that; as a documentarian, I am fascinated by the many mysteries that still linger years after Rama’s death. I’ve been surprised and captivated by how different the story of Rama and his students ended up being, as I learned more about who he was. I am excited to take listeners on this winding, eye-opening journey for the first time.”
The series is Executive Produced by Jonathan Hirsch, the producers are Kate Mishkin and Jonathan Hirsch, and the editor is Vikram Patel. Neon Hum’s Executive Editor is Catherine Saint Louis.
...Bad Bad Thing is a new true crime podcast from PodcastOne. It has teamed with journalist and documentary filmmaker Barbara Schroeder to produce and distribute the story about love, betrayal, obsession and murder. Written and hosted by Schroeder, the six episode podcast tells the story of a loving wife, Jennair Gerardot, who spirals into darkness when she suspects that her husband of 24 years, Mark, is having an affair with his dynamic, younger and beautiful boss. The story has a twist ending.
“Hearing the actual audio recordings by a woman so deeply betrayed and in despair as she plans and plots sent shivers down my spine,” said Kit Gray, President of PodcastOne. “Barbara's extensive background in true crime storytelling combined with unbelievable, exclusive, and jaw dropping assets makes this a podcast that cannot be missed.”
Schroeder most recently wrote and directed the Netflix true crime series, "Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist," about an unsolved FBI case in Erie PA.
Bad Bad Thing debuts June 30.
...Shattered Glass is a new podcast from the Armchair Umbrella podcast network. It is hosted by actor Kristen Bell and Armchair Expert co-host Monica Padman. Shattered Glass refers to the glass ceiling that women everywhere have struggled to break since the women's rights movement. In this podcast, Bell and Padman will talk to a woman each episode who has made a significant crack in the ceiling. They will talk to women in many fields - entrepreneurship, entertainment, sports, politics and activism - and during these conversations, they will talk through their guests' accomplishments, struggles, points of resilience, inspiration and fears. Through these stories, listeners learn about lifting one another up, how to continue to break the glass, and the importance of keeping the door open for generations to follow. The ten-episode series debuts June 23.
...Drama Queens is a new iHeartRadio original podcast where three friends unite to rewatch every single episode of the hit teen drama, “One Tree Hill.” Each week hosts Joy, Hilarie and Sophia devote themselves to recapping every scene together, breaking down everything from the most pivotal moments of the show to all the little details that you might have missed. Starting with the pilot and running through all the seasons, they share cherished memories that built their friendship.
... Avatar: Braving the Elements” is a new podcast series from iHeartRadio. It explores the popular Nickelodeon cartoon, “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Hosted by the original cast of series, Janet Varney (the voice of “Korra”) and Dante Basco (the voice of “Prince Zuko”), the official companion podcasts recaps a new episode of the series each week – breaking down all the key moments, notable battles and some behind-the-scenes trivia that’s never been heard before. Special guests from cast members to producers will also join for each podcast episode to explore elements of the Avatarverse, including the origins of the story and how Avatar was brought to life.
...Who Was Prince? Is a new podcast from Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment. The eight-episode series that will look back at the life and musical legacy of Prince. Hosted by music journalist Touré, the series is built on interviews with people who were close to Prince including people who played in his bands, managed his career, engineered his music or dated him. The series explores aspects of the artist’s life in great depth, delving into his multiple passions, his love of basketball, his work ethic, his ability to play almost every instrument, his love of clothes, his turbulent childhood, his romantic life, the death of his newborn baby, and his tragic end. “This is a labor of love that emerges from 20 years of studying Prince, interviewing him, playing basketball with him and talking to tons of people who were close to him,” said Touré. The series is the first co-production for Cumulus and DCP Entertainment which has a deal to distribute, market, and monetize its podcasts through the Cumulus Podcast Network.
...The Coach Tony Franklin Podcast is a new series from the longtime college football coach. After 40 years of coaching football at every level, Franklin retired after the 2020 season. In the show he will offer a “storytelling smorgasbord” of all the untold drama that make the behind-the-scenes events of football comparable to a daytime soap opera. The podcast explores the roller coaster ride of an American man who has lost some of his closest friends in life to tragic early deaths, twice had the FBI knock on his door, witnessed a knife fight in his teens by a serial killer who would later confess to over forty murders, as well as having to overcome his personal battle with cancer at age 23.
...The Greatness with Kareem Maddox is a new limited-run podcast from USG Audio and Transmitter Media. The series featuring professional 3x3 basketball player Maddox exploring one question: What does it mean to be an Olympian? He speaks with athletes from different countries, different sports, and different decades. On the eight-episode series they share their Olympic dreams, what happens off the field, and what the Olympics mean to everyone.
...Redefine You is a new self-help podcast from actor, model and body image activist Hayley Hasselhoff. Inspired by her own journey to self-acceptance and wellbeing, Hasselfhoff will host weekly conversations with special guests from the entertainment industry and health and wellness experts as they reveal their unique personal growth journeys, including broadly relatable challenges they faced along the way.
“Mental health is such an important topic that we need to continue conversations in hopes to destigmatize the power in vulnerability,” said Hasselhoff. “I want to build a community of listeners who feel they are supported and inspired by hearing others’ stories in taking ownership for themselves. I hope these conversations feel relatable and help inspire listeners who are on their path of self-acceptance and well-being.”
Upcoming guests include; Sara Haines (co-host of ABC’s “The View”), Kevin MChale (Glee), Audrey Brianne (celebrity stylist), Alessandra Garica (renowned Curve model), Stuart Sandeman (breath expert) and Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble (pioneering psychologist and scientist), and more. Redefine You is produced by Stage 29 Productions Patty Ciano, LaFern Cusack and Stephanie Kasen.
...The Cray is a new podcast from PodcastOne. The show is hosted by filmmaker, producer and writer Rob Weiss, restaurateur and branding expert Shawn Chase and stylist, producer and entertainer O’Neal McKnight. The long-time friends and business associates will address today's biggest issues in hopes of enlightening listeners and helping them grow. In an ongoing segment feature, guests who jump into The Cray will be asked to bring with them a memento from their personal collection that will go up for sale in The Cray store on Mercari – which is sponsoring the podcast. Funds raised from the sale of the guest owned items will directly benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
...Crime of the Truest Kind is a new true crime podcast series. What launched in October 2020 with a two-part series on notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger has now grown to a bi-weekly series hosted by longtime Boston radio DJ and personality Anngelle Wood. It covers true crime stories from across New England. The topics range from small town murders to Whitey Bulger's reign of terror to the 2003 Station Nightclub Fire and the 1987 shooting death of Abel Harris at Bunratty's rock club in Allston.
...Recording Academy x Ebony: Black Music Collective Podcast is a limited run podcast from Ebony magazine and the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammys. The six-part series is part of their partnership tied to Black Music Month. Each Thursday, host MC Lyte will talk with musicians about their contributions and incredible impact within the community and the music industry at large. Guests include Gammy winners Yolanda Adams, H.E.R., Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Ledisi, as well as Universal Music Group EVP Jeff Harleston, and former BET Networks CEO Debra Lee.
...Próxima Parada is a new Spotify Original daily news podcast focused on news of Brazil. It is hosted by journalists Ana Beatriz Felicio and Rômulo Cabrera. In brief 15-minute episodes, Próxima Parada presents stories, news, and reports on a wide range of topics, including education, employment, health, safety, housing, culture, and leisure. The daily journalistic series provides coverage on the diverse topics and daily news circulating in the outskirts of the São Paulo metropolitan area. The podcast is produced in partnership with Brazil’s Mural Journalism Agency of the Periferias, giving the hosts access to the agency’s correspondents network of more than 70 reporters who live in the region. The series debuts June 28 with episodes released for afternoon commuters (5pm local time).
... Póngase Los Tenis is a new Spanish-language sports series from Revolver Podcasts and Magnus Studios. The show is hosted by fitness guru Rodrigo Garduño. It features weekly motivational conversations with athletes, musicians, singers, celebrities, authors and innovators. The show is produced by Catalina Maya. Mexico City native Garduño is best known in the U.S. for the 54D fitness studios he has opened.
"I created 54D because I wanted to change and touch people's lives. With this program I have been able to show them that they are capable of improving their lives and achieving their goals," said Garduño. "Now, with my new podcast, I have the opportunity to spread the message of empowerment with the enormous distribution reach of the reVolver Podcast."
...The Official Prince Podcast is returning for a second season titled “The Story of Welcome 2 America.” The podcast, created by the Prince Estate, in partnership with Legacy Recordings and Sony Music Entertainment, explores Prince’s career in 2010-2011, as the artist recorded his prescient and political album “Welcome 2 America” and then mysteriously archived it and will offer listeners the first chance to hear the songs on the album ahead of its official release. Hosted by music journalist Andrea Swensson and special guest co-hosts Shelby J. and Morris Hayes of Prince’s legendary band the NPG, the four-episode season debuts July 22.
...To Live and Die in LA returns for a second season. In the new season Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss was asked to help the family get answers about the February 2018 disappearance of an aspiring actress – 20-year old California woman Elaine Park. Strauss works the case with his wife and his neighbors, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, and concert violinist Ann Marie Simpson. Their investigation includes a look into who Elaine is, through her own voice and social media, as well as through her closest friends. Leads and theories are explored too, including a very disturbing theory of an event taking place backstage at a high-profile hip-hop concert that has been shared by Elaine’s mother and the private investigator. And the team takes a critical look at Elaine’s ex-boyfriends, including one who Elaine was last seen leaving his Calabasas home. New episodes are released each Thursday.
...Embrace Everything: The World of Gustav Mahler is returning for a new season. Created and hosted by award-winning radio producer Aaron Cohen, season two delves into Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor (“Resurrection”) over five episodes—one per movement—taking listeners on a powerful and illuminating journey through death, reminiscence, futility, release, transcendence, and renewal. The series will include guest commentary from nearly 100 conductors, orchestral musicians, and scholars, including many of today’s leading interpreters of and authorities on Mahler’s music. The new season debuts on Mahler’s birthday, Wednesday, July 7. A special one-hour radio adaptation of the complete second season will air on select radio stations across the country, including on New York Public Radio’s classical music station WQXR on Wednesday, July 7 and Sunday, July 11 at 8:00 pm. ET. WQXR will re-air the first season radio special on Tuesday, July 6 at 8:00 pm ET.
...That Makes Cents is launching a third season. The show from eMoney Advisor will build on the two previous seasons, which covered personal finance, financial planning, the role technology plays in financial advice, and marketing for financial advisors. Season three will focus on the importance of financial wellness and will be available in both audio and video format. The latest season will be hosted by Mac Gardner, a published author, financial literacy advocate and founder of FinLit Tech, a company focused on building the bridge between financial literacy and financial technology.