Vespucci launches new podcast commissioning fund with shows from Elle Fanning and Love + Radio among others
Today, global IP incubator and storytelling studio Vespucci announces the launch of a new podcast commissioning fund which will produce ten original podcast series over the next two years.
Since the company was founded, Vespucci has created a slate of chart-topping, critically acclaimed podcasts and documentaries for Showtime, Audible, Spotify, Wondery, CBC, Imperative Entertainment, Blumhouse, Sony, and Podimo amongst others. Recent highlights include documentary feature 2nd Chance (Variety: “The best Errol Morris movie that Errol Morris never made”), and podcasts Operation Morning Light (Webby Nominee, Financial Times’ Best Podcasts Of 2022), The Paddlefish Caviar Heist (Ambie Nominee, Esquire’s Best Podcasts Of 2022), Bad Money (Mashable’s Best Podcasts Of 2022), The Cost Of Happiness (Webby Nominee, Wired’s Best Podcasts Of 2023), Bonaparte (New York Magazine: “Evocative storytelling throughout”) and Radioman starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Rose D’Or Nominee, Guardian: “Dazzling … a strikingly ambitious drama that rewards immersion”).
Harnessing the company’s storytelling expertise, Vespucci’s new commissioning fund will finance a slate of original podcasts which are character-driven, cinematically rich and ripe for audio-visual adaptation. Leveraging Vespucci’s global network of journalists, these stories will be specifically commissioned with an international audience in mind. Future commissions will explore stories set in Latin America, Asia and Europe.
The first shows to be greenlit by the new fund include:
- One Click: Ashley Madison — Hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe-nominee Elle Fanning (The Great, The Girl From Plainville, Neon Demon, The Beguiled) and journalist Sophie Elmhirst (Guardian, Economist, New York Times, New Yorker), co-produced with Lewellen Pictures and Pixiu. A gripping follow-up to the critically acclaimed first season (New York Times: “Vital listening”), the second season of One Click tells the inside story of the 2015 Ashley Madison hack that exposed tens of thousands of cheating spouses. With access to the company, and users whose lives were turned upside down by the leak, this is a nuanced and contemporary exploration of infidelity in the internet age.
- Space Cadets — Hosted by Nick van der Kolk, co-produced with Love + Radio (Ira Glass: “The most emotionally complicated stories and portraits of people that anyone is doing anywhere”). In 2005, a group of reality show contestants battled for the chance to become the first civilian astronauts in human history. The successful winners would spend several days orbiting the earth, culminating in a historic spacewalk. Except, none of it was real. It was one of the most ambitious hoaxes in television history.
To produce these new shows, Vespucci has expanded its growing podcast team with a series of senior hires from WNYC, Somethin’ Else and Audible. New hires include Story Editor Meara Sharma (Gracie Award-winner, On The Media, The Fault Line, Power: Hugh Hefner), Series Producer Meera Kumar (APA-winner, British Podcast Award-winner, Cheat!, Power: The Maxwells) and Development Producer Krish Dineshkumar (Audible).
Sharma, Kumar and Dineshkumar will report into Vespucci’s VP Of Content, Matt Willis (ARIA, APA, AIB, James Beard and New York Festival Award-winner) and Vespucci’s Head Of Podcasts, Thomas Curry (British Podcast Award, APA and BJTC Award-winner).
Johnny Galvin and Daniel Turcan, Co-Founders at Vespucci, said: “Since we first founded the company, we’ve worked with hundreds of journalists to unearth incredible stories from all around the world. As we expand our teams in Latin America, Canada, the US and UK, this new commissioning fund allows us to bring even more gripping journalism to audio. This fund will allow Vespucci to launch in markets beyond the US and UK, greenlight shows quickly, invest in stories we believe in, and support creators like Elle, Sophie and Nick whose work we greatly admire.”
Nick van der Kolk, creator of Love + Radio, said: "We first started reporting this series way back in 2019, and right from the start we knew it was going to be an absurd story — the attention to detail required to pull off a hoax like Space Cadets is mind-boggling. But as our reporting has developed, we’ve started to understand the impact this show has had on those that took part — hearing about what’s happened to the contestants after the cameras stopped rolling is perhaps even more surprising. I’m really glad to be working with Vespucci to debut Love + Radio's first mini-series.”
One Click: Season 2 and Space Cadets** will be released in 2023. Vespucci’s commissioning fund continues to accept pitches for 2023 and 2024.
Vespucci is repped by William Morris Endeavor and Entertianment 360.
This is a press release from Vespucci which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.