Ten years ago, 300 men, women, and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee. What happened when American Public Radio investigative journalist Lia Haddock started looking into the mystery became the basis for the acclaimed podcast Limetown.
Her intense, yet wholly fictional, investigation is now the latest podcast to be tapped by Hollywood–this time by way of Silicon Valley. Facebook ordered a 10-episode series of Limetown, and Jessica Biel is both starring in the show and producing the series, which will air on Facebook Watch.
Limetown was created, produced, and distributed by Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, who were podcasting neophytes when they released the show in 2015.
Bronkie had quit his job at Facebook to start a production company with Akers, whom he had met at film school at NYU. Their first foray into podcasts was Limetown, with season one garnering more than 10 million downloads.
They are now returning to their film school roots and writing and executive-producing the Facebook Watch series. Rounding out the Limetown universe is a prequel novel due out mid-November from Simon & Schuster.
Limetown and Jessica Biel will join a Facebook Watch lineup that includes some big-name productions and stars, including the new drama Sorry for Your Loss starring Elizabeth Olsen and the forthcoming beauty pageant dramedy Queen America, which stars Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Limetown TV show has been in the works for more than a year and comes as many other podcasts make the leap from audio to visual. Gimlet’s StartUp was turned into an ABC sitcom, Lore was turned into an Amazon series, and 2 Dope Queens and Pod Save America both got HBO adaptations. There are more in the works, too: Julia Roberts is set to star when Gimlet’s Homecoming moves to Amazon, and the first trailer for Bravo’s adaptation of the true-crime series Dirty John was just released. It stars Connie Britton and Eric Bana and looks creepy as hell.