Everybody grab your earbuds and put your downloading gloves on, because Serial is back! The podcast that rekindled the media’s love affair with audio journalism returns this week, popping up on various online channels Thursday morning.
As predicted, season two will investigate the ongoing trial of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who left his post from the U.S. Army in 2009 while stationed in Afghanistan, and was kidnapped by the Taliban. The U.S. eventually released five prisoners in exchange for his return in 2014: After a public uproar, Bergdahl was charged by a military court with desertion (which carries a 3-5 year sentence), and “misbehaving before the enemy,” which could put him in jail for life. Currently, Bergdahl is waiting to hear whether he will be tried publicly or by court-martial.
Serial co-creator Sarah Koenig has teamed up with journalist/screenwriter Mark Boal, author of Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker for the new season. Boal spent more than 25 hours interviewing Bergdahl in 2014 to write a screenplay about his story. Berghdahl’s account of the day he left his post is the focus of the show’s first episode.
According to The New York Times, Koenig suggested season two will span 8-10 episodes, but has not finalized the number. Season one was split into 12 parts. According to Wired, Koenig and her team have made a few other cosmetic changes to the show, including a new theme song.
Meanwhile, Koenig and company are also working on Serial season three. Koenig, Serial co-creator Julie Snyder, and This American Life host Ira Glass have also signed on as executive producers on a TV show based on the making of the show’s first season.
Of course, the big question is whether or not the podcast will be able to match the success of it’s first season, which garnered more 100 million downloads. The show is currently number one on the iTunes charts, so that’s a good sign.