Lionsgate Launches Podcast Division
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) today announced it has entered the podcasting space with new division Lionsgate Sound. The division will operate as a full-service podcast production company, handling podcast production for the studio’s film & television businesses while also overseeing all elements of podcast production for third party clients. Lionsgate company Pilgrim Media Group – headed by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer Craig Piligian – is a minority owner in Lionsgate Sound and will handle the day-to-day operations of the group, which will be overseen by Gretchen Stockdale and Nicholas Caprio. Acclaimed international broadcast-journalist and producer Charlie Webster will head up creative for the division.
Lionsgate Sound will launch with four shows: “Cuate/twin/: the downfall of El Chapo (working title),” hosted and produced by Curtis ‘50’ Cent Jackson and his newly established G-Unit Audio, and exclusively distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network; interview podcast “Playing Dead;” FBI-focused show “A Nation for Thieves;” and “Died and Survived,” detailing near-death experiences, which will be distributed widely across all platforms, with more than a dozen additional projects in the pipeline. Lionsgate Sound is also producing true-crime thriller “The Lives and Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman” for exclusive distribution by CBC.
“We look forward to entering the rapidly expanding podcast market as a great source of exciting new properties as well as an opportunity to feed the growing demand for audio content with our films, television series, Starz original programming, and library titles. This initiative demonstrates Lionsgate’s 360-degree approach to content, creating an opportunity for us to continue onscreen stories and make companion podcasts to serve fans of our IP while scaling the audience base for new projects,” said Joe Drake, Chair of the Motion Picture Group, and Kevin Beggs, Chair of the Lionsgate Television Group.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Curtis ‘50’ Cent Jackson and the other talented creators behind our upcoming shows,” said Piligian. “With our strong lineup out of the gate, we are well-positioned to reach the next generation of consumers.”
Lionsgate Sound will be governed by a Board of Directors comprised of Scott Herbst, EVP & Head of Scripted Development, Lionsgate Television; Suzy Felfeli, Executive Director of Corporate Development; Lionsgate MPG development executive Scott O’Brien; and Pilgrim Media’s Piligian and Stockdale. Lionsgate EVP & Head of Global Products & Experiences Jenefer Brown has also been heavily involved with the initiative as a key facilitator across multiple content groups of cross-company IP.
Charlie Webster has worked globally for major TV networks such as BBC and SKY, and events including Olympic and Paralympic Games, F1, and FIFA World Cup. Webster has also created several successful TV documentaries and podcasts, including her award nominated BBC TV documentary “Nowhere to Run” and critically acclaimed podcast “Undiscussable,” an investigative series into domestic abuse that gives a challenging rethinking of the issue, and “My Sporting Mind,” an intimate show that speaks to sports stars about mental health.
In “Cuate/twin/: the downfall of El Chapo,” speaking publicly for the first time ever, Chicago-born identical twins Peter & Jay Flores will take listeners on a journey through their meteoric rise to becoming two of the biggest drug traffickers in America. Peddling tons of cocaine across the country, these two would go on to be seated at the right hand of the most wanted man in the world: El Chapo himself. In a stunning turn of events, the twins betray El Chapo in a desperate attempt to escape the only life they’ve ever known. But is escape ever really possible?
Hosted by Actor Michael Nathanson (Netflix’s “Marvel’s The Punisher”), “Playing Dead” will explore the deaths and lives of television and film’s most iconic characters. This new interview podcast will feature actors and creators who will share their first-hand experience of what it’s really like to bring life, and subsequently death, to these quintessential roles.
In “A Nation for Thieves,” host Justin Shenkarow will delve into how FBI special agent Debra LaPrevotte singlehandedly created the FBI’s first kleptocracy department. The podcast will explore how Debra recovered over $1 billion dollars of dirty money from the world’s most corrupt leaders, whose actions have fueled war crimes and other atrocities including the current war in Ukraine.
In eight-part series “Died and Survived,” Charlie Webster will act as a detective, piecing together clues to build a bulletproof case and find out what we can learn about how we approach death. She’ll meet with “experiencers” and hear their startling personal encounters with death, and chat with experts who are using hard science and modern technology to gain never-before seen or heard evidence of the afterlife.
“The Lives and Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman” is an eight-part “forensic biography” of the incredible rise and the tragic deaths of pharma billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. This series shines a light on what extreme wealth does – not just for people, but to them.
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