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Added Nov 14, 2014 at 04:54PM EST by Don.

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Serial is an episodic non-fiction crime drama podcast created as a spin-off of the American public radio program This American Life. The first season of the show explores a mysterious murder that occurred in Baltimore, Maryland in 1999. The second season of Serial follows the controversial story and trial of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.


According to an interview with Mother Jones,[1] Serial creators Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder came up with the idea for the show while working together as producers on NPR's This American Life.

The first two seasons have been downloaded more than 250 million times.[11]

Season One

On October 3rd, 2014, the first episode of Serial was released, which was followed by additional episodes released weekly on the Serial Podcast website.[4] The first season investigates the 1999 murder of Baltimore resident Hae Min Lee and the possible wrongful conviction of her boyfriend Adnan Syed.

Season Two

On December 10th, 2015, NPR released episode one of Serial season two. Following the story of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier POW who was later charged with desertion. season two explored the career, personality, and controversy surrounding Bergdahl.


On March 28th, 2017, NPR simultaneously released all seven chapters of S-Town, a true crime podcast created by the producers of Serial and This American Life. Hosted by Brian Reed, S-Town documents Reed's investigation into an alleged murder in Woodstock, Al, the hometown of John B. McLemore, the Woodstock resident who invites Reed to investigate and with whom Reed becomes close.

The name comes from an expression McLemore would use in reference to his hometown: "Shittown." On how they decided on the name, Reed explained to The Huffington Post[12]:

"I mean, quite honestly, it just became impossible for me to imagine it called anything else. We would always call it “Shittown” to each other, as we were working on it, before it got to a point where we actually needed a name. And then we were like, “OK, wait, so this is going to be called ‘Shittown,’ actually?!

We had sessions where we tried to come up with another name just because, we felt, let’s try it and see if we can picture it with another name. And we had like, “The Vulgar Horologist,” or something like that, which just sounded like a bad book at the airport.

At one point I got on this kick, a phrase from “A Rose for Emily,” [a short story by William Faulkner] which John gave me to read, there’s a phrase in there to describe Emily’s house ― “an eyesore among eyesores.” And I remember coming in in the morning to work one day like, “I have it! ‘An Eyesore Among Eyesores,’ that’s what it’s going to be.”

I was super into it for like an hour on the train in and then I shared it with my coworkers and they were like, “Oh, my god, no. That’s horrible. Who would want to listen to something called, ‘An Eyesore Among Eyesores’?!”

Online Presence

On January 28th, 2014, a Facebook[3] page titled "Serial Podcast" was created, gathering upwards of 46,900 likes in the next 10 months. On July 2nd, the @serial Twitter[8] feed was launched, garnering more than 44,500 followers in five months. On October 5th, the /r/serialpodcast[2] subreddit was created for discussions about the podcast, which gained over 10,800 subscribers in the next six weeks. On November 14th, the entertainment news blog A.V. Club[9] announced the launch of their new podcast about Serial titled "The Serial Serial."

On November 30th, 2016, the @stownpodcast account joined Twitter. It currently has more than 12,200 followers.


On November 3rd, 2014, YouTuber Paul Laudiero uploaded a parody of Serial in which Koenig interviews a Best Buy employee (shown below). Over the next two weeks, Laudiero uploaded four additional Serial parodies.

MailChimp Ad

Each Serial episode begins with a advertisement for the email marketing service provider MailChimp, in which a young girl can be heard struggling to pronounce the company's name (shown below).

Fans of the show began referencing MailChimp as an in-joke on Twitter, often mocking the young girl's pronunciation as "MailKimp."[6] On November 12th, 2014, the tech news blog Mashable[7] published an article about the "'MailKimp' meme."

Rachel Syme @rachsyme Follow My favorite character in @serial may actually be the girl who pronounces mail chimp like mail kimp; i love her everytime :03 PM-31 Oct 2014 RETWEETS 10 FAVORITES Mail Kimp @MailKimp Follow Send even *better* e-mail. Sign up now at RETWEETS FAVORITES 6:51 PM- 6 Nov 2014


During the first season of Serial, fans who believed Syed had been wrongly convicted began tweeting the hashtag "#FreeAdnan."[10]

Tweets per day #FreeAdnan October 15th-November 14th 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 10/16 10/19 11/6 11/8 ANALYTICS B TOPSY #FreeAdnan 298

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