Photo:

The Best TV Series That Were Originally Podcasts

List Rules
Vote up the best TV series based on a podcast.

Podcasts have been around since as far back as the 1980s (when it was audio files shared across something called the MBone network), but it wasn't until the invention of broadband Internet speeds and portable MP3 players that people really started to take notice. Since that time, podcasts have exploded onto every aspect of pop culture to become one of the most popular methods of entertainment available at home or on the go. A survey in 2017 estimated that 42 million Americans regularly listened to podcasts at least once a week, and those numbers have gone nowhere but up since then.

Typically, a podcast is recorded and released into the wild without any sort of expansion into other forms of media, but every now and again, something truly special takes a popular podcast and turns it into a TV show. Television shows based on podcasts are pretty rare—especially when it comes to a podcast TV series that can stick around for more than a single season. When that does happen, the transmutation of a podcast into a television series often produces results that are something amazing. Scripted podcasts, true crime podcasts, and even interview-style shows have been adapted for television and thrived.

While there aren't many TV shows about podcasts or those inspired by them, the ones that last make for exceptional programming. These are the very best of them all so be sure to vote up your favorite and see which one tops the list!

Photo:

  • Dr. Death
    Photo: Dr. Death
    1
    8 VOTES

    Based on: Dr. Death

    Podcast genre: True Crime

    Podcast released in: September 2018

    Differences between podcast and show: Both the television series and the first season of the podcast follow the story of Doctor Christopher Duntsch, with the television series using prosthetics and special effects to shape the doctor's jouney over.

    Available On:

    subscription

  • The Dropout
    Photo: The Dropout
    2
    7 VOTES

    Based on: The Dropout

    Podcast genre: Investigative journalism

    Podcast released on: January 23, 2019

    Differences between podcast and show: Where the podcast was straightforward true crime investigative journalism, the series dramatizes the events as they were told on the podcast, following the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos.

    • Premiered: March 3, 2022
    • Genres: Drama
    7 votes

    Available On:

    subscription

  • Dirty John
    Photo: Dirty John
    3
    21 VOTES

    Based on: Dirty John

    Podcast genre: Investigative journalism, Serialized audio narrative, True Crime

    Podcast released on: October 2, 2017

    Differences between podcast and show: The television series is  presented as a single-camera drama based off the premise of the podcast with the first season delving into "how a romance with the charismatic John Meehan spiraled into secrets, denial, manipulation, and ultimately, survival – with horrific consequences for an entire family."

    • Premiered: 2018
    • Genres: Crime,Drama,Thriller
    21 votes

    Available On:

    subscription

  • The Shrink Next Door
    Photo: The Shrink Next Door

    Based on: The Shrink Next Door 

    Podcast genre: True Crime

    Podcast released on: May 21, 2019

    Differences between podcast and show: The podcast and the television miniseries are structured similarly, with the miniseries utilising the visual medium, and the talent of the cast to include a tone of disquieting dark comedy.

    • Premiered: November 12, 2021
    • Genres: Comedy,Comedy,Drama
    10 votes

    Available On:

    subscription

  • 5
    6 VOTES

    Based on: Limetown

    Podcast genre: Science Fiction, Drama

    Podcast released on: July 21, 2015

    Differences between podcast and show: The podcast and show follow an incredibly similar path, both following the search by investigative reporter Lia Haddock (played by Annie-Sage Whitehurst in the podcast and Jessica Biel in the Facebook Watch series) for the cause of the mass disappearance.

    • Premiered: October 16, 2019
    • Genres: Drama,Mystery,Thriller
    6 votes

    Available On:

    free

  • Lore
    Photo: Lore
    6
    10 VOTES

    Based on: Lore

    Podcast genre: Non-fiction, horror

    Podcast released on: March 19, 2015

    Differences between podcast and show: Both the television series and the podcast that inspired it are presented in an anthology horror format. They take non-fiction stories that are horrific in nature and present them as true tales of horror such that "the show is able to turn the inherent creepiness of Mahnke's podcast into original stories that are even more unnerving and resonant."

    • Premiered: 2017
    • Genres: Drama,Horror
    10 votes

    Available On:

    free