Serial tried to break the Internet last year with its suspense-driven podcast investigating the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee in Baltimore. The surprise hit show became the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads at iTunes.
Serial creator Sarah Koenig announced a few months ago that she was brewing up a second season of Serial, thanks to donations from fans. (NPR stalwart This American Life funded its first breakout season.) Speculation soared about what story the show might cover. Turns out the choice was too hard even for the producers, so Koenig and team chose two stories. That means a second and third season of Serial will run consecutively in fall 2015 and spring 2016. Audience momentum in a media-fragmented world is plenty hard to build. Against the odds, Serial has been extraordinarily successful building it. Now the producers want to keep long gaps between shows from letting audience hunger languish.