Another popular podcast is getting turned into a TV series in the form of The Black Tapes. NBC is currently in development on a small screen adaptation of the very popular podcast, which initially debuted in 2015. The show's creators Paul Bae and Terry Miles are directly involved in the adaptation, alongside Matthew Arnold, co-creator of the series Emerald City, which aired for just a single season, also on NBC.
According to a new report, The Black Tapes TV series was written and is being executive produced by the trio of Paul Bae, Terry Miles and Matthew Arnold. The series follows a journalist who is investigating various unexplained supernatural mysteries that have been caught on tape by a skeptical scientist. Each week, the two of them embark on a journey that will explore "the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both." It sounds like they could be trying to capture some mild Supernatural vibes here. Entertainment 360 Productions is involved, with Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner producing on their behalf. Universal TV is the studio actually handling the production.
The Black Tapes, in its podcast form, is hosted by a character named Alex Reagan (voiced by Lori Henry) and, in the universe they've created, is released as a spin-off to the fictional radio show Pacific Northwest Stories. The series is produced by a character named Nic Silver (voiced by Terry Miles). Over the course of the two seasons, Reagan serves as the narrator in a style of storytelling that has been compared to that of Serial. The key difference being that Serial is non-fiction, whereas The Black Tapes is sort of like the podcasting equivalent of a found footage horror movie.
As networks do their best to compete for eyeballs in the modern landscape, they're increasingly looking to recognizable properties to hedge their bets. This often results in revivals of once-popular shows, small screen adaptations of movies or projects of that nature. But, more frequently, networks and streaming services are looking at podcasts for content. Amazon has had success with Lore and the Tell 'Em Steve Dave podcast ultimately inspired Kevin Smith's Comic Book Men on AMC, as a couple of examples. Other projects in development include a Night Vale series, as well as an adaptation of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
The Black Tapes boasts an impressive 41.5 million downloads to date and, despite the fact that no new episodes have been released in more than a year, it remains in the top ten on the iTunes podcast charts in the U.S., as well as in the top 50 internationally. With that, it's no surprise that NBC sees the potential in it for a TV series. For the time being, there is no indication as to when we could see The Black Tapes TV series on the air, nor is it clear if the network has committed to a full season, or just a pilot for now. This news was first reported by Deadline.