23 voters

The Best TV Series That Were Originally Podcasts

Updated December 30, 2020 57 votes 23 voters 1.6k views14 items

List RulesVote 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!

  • Maron
    Photo: IFC

    Based on: WTF with Marc Maron

    Podcast genre: Comedy, Interview

    Podcast released on: September 1, 2009

    Differences between podcast and show: The podcast features interviews and conversations while the TV series is more of a standard comedy show. The series features a fictionalized version of Maron as he tries to get through the everyday annoyances of other people.

    • Actors: Marc Maron, Josh Brener, Dave Anthony
    • Premiered: 2013
    • Genres (Tv): Comedy
    Did this show adapt the podcast well?
  • Alex, Inc.
    Photo: ABC

    Based on: StartUp

    Podcast genre: Business documentary

    Podcast released on: September 5, 2014

    Differences between podcast and show: The podcast differs significantly from the television series it inspired. The podcast discussed the nature of starting a business with various examples and stories. The television series is a comedy adapted from the premise of Zach Braff's character quitting his job to start his own company.

    • Actors: Zach Braff, Tiya Sircar, Hillary Anne Mathews, Michael Imperioli, Elisha Henig
    • Premiered: 2018
    • Genres (Tv): Sitcom
    Did this show adapt the podcast well?
  • Desus & Mero
    Photo: Showtime

    Based on: Desus vs. Mero

    Podcast genre: Comedy, entertainment, talk

    Podcast released on: December 18, 2013

    Differences between podcast and show: The original podcast and the television series followed a similar structure and don't have many differences outside of their respective formats.

    • Actors: Desus Nice, The Kid Mero
    • Premiered: 2019
    • Genres (Tv): Late-night talk show
    Did this show adapt the podcast well?

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  • Lore
    Photo: Amazon Studios

    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."

    • Actors: Robert Patrick, Holland Roden, Colm Feore, Kristin Bauer, Cathal Pendred
    • Premiered: 2017
    • Genres (Tv): Horror, Anthology
    Did this show adapt the podcast well?