I know you’re probably up to your armpits in end of year podcast recommendations from across the internet. (Including my own, which is the best one, if I do say so myself.)
Well, you better work your way through those fast, because a new year of podcasting is upon us, and there are more soon-to-be-classic shows launching early this new year. Here’s a sneak peek into what you should be excited about listening to in the first few months of 2023. There’s something here for everyone—the monster-lovers, the social-justice fighters, the true-crime addicts, and more.
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Every week on Started From the Bottom, host Justin Richmond will interview successful people who grew up on the outside—people of color, people who weren’t part of the old boys’ network, people who grew up in a world where almost nobody went to college. How did they do it? How did they beat the odds while also beating away the feeling of being an imposter? Find out when this show from Pushkin launches on Jan. 16.
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All across America, thousands of hate crimes are committed every year, but only a small number get reported. An even smaller fraction are ever prosecuted. We’re here to figure out why. Invisible Hate is a podcast that sheds light on the worst true crimes that are motivated by race, religion, or sexual orientation and are usually perpetrated against minorities. In each episode, we examine one crime in depth and then discuss whether or not it should be classified as a hate crime. Invisible Hate is a podcast you’ll hate to love. It launches Jan. 12.
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Monsters, memes, internet urban legends, conspiracies, viral crazes, and an analysis of how each holds up a mirror to the society from which they emerge: Digital Folklore is a fully immersive, sound-designed podcast that uses storytelling, voice acting, interviews, and scripted narrative to analyze various expressions of internet culture, from scary stories to cat memes, through the lens of academic folklore. With topics ranging from the absurd to the unsettling, Digital Folklore is an accessible and entertaining way to learn about folkloric concepts and societal truths. Launches in January.
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Playing Anne Frank is a six-episode podcast series about the 1955 play “The Diary of Anne Frank”—its production, and how it changed the lives of the people who helped to create it. For millions, seeing a performance of the play or the 1959 film adaptation was been a life-changing experience, introducing them to the story of the Holocaust. Playing Anne Frank sheds new light on this beloved drama through archival recordings and new interviews with surviving cast members from the Broadway production, the national touring show, and the Oscar-winning film alike. Presented as an immersive, briskly-paced narrative, the podcast will cover how Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett adapted Anne Frank’s famous diary for the stage with input from Anne’s father Otto, how the Broadway show provided community and refuge for several Holocaust survivors as well as actors who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era, how appearing in in the show led several Broadway cast and crew members to leave the theater and pursue new moral callings, and more. Coming in January from The Forward.
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Magenta Presents is a new horror anthology from Long Cat Media (Mockery Manor, Madame Magenta.) Think Tales from the Crypt hosted by Madame Magenta, your guide through the esoteric. Launching in January.
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Have you ever wondered how your friend bought that vacation home or why that colleague of yours makes everyone meticulously split the tab down to the last Diet Coke? Other People’s Pockets is a show about other people’s money. The show asks people from all walks of life to get radically transparent about their personal finances in order to learn more about who we are and what makes us tick. The show is co-production of Pushkin and Little Everywhere, and hosted by journalist Maya. The first episode drops Feb. 22.
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In 2023, The Heart will begin releasing a new series, “Sisters.” It’s about Natalie and Kaitlin, who are those kinds of sisters: They dress up in matching outfits. They sing duets. They hold hands walking down the street. When in the pandemic hit, they decided to work together on an art project, but nasty family history came to the surface, marring their rose-colored view of one another. Sibling rivalry, a mental health diagnosis, and the ugliness that emerges around those we trust the most: Can they overcome the patterns they learned in childhood and live in harmony as adults? This series presents an archive of a sisterly relationship, from birth through the present day. Launching in February from Mermaid Palace, CBC, and Radiotopia from PRX.
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Grown is a podcast about the in-between: the nebulous, the liminal, the just plain weird time between those awkward teenage years and adulthood. Listen to Grown for true stories told live on Moth stages that deal with the challenges and the joys of growing up. Hosted by Aleeza Kazmi and Alfonso “Fonzo” Lacayo, two Moth storytellers on the cusp of adulthood, the show will feature in-depth discussions on the issues raised by the stories—first crushes, culture and identity, and keeping secrets—and include conversations with the storytellers themselves, plus on-the-street interviews, teen audio diaries, and more. Grown is a podcast that reminds us that no matter how old you are, you’re never fully grown. From The Moth and PRX, launching in February.
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Tell Me About It is a madcap game show about proving that the things you like are actually interesting, hosted by Adal Rifai (Hello From the Magic Tavern, Hey Riddle Riddle) and Eric Silver (host of Games and Feelings, DM of Join the Party, and head of creative at Multitude). Adal takes on the role of an eccentric billionaire and the world’s biggest fan of the movie Grease, and is determined to prove that the 1978 movie musical is the single most interesting and cool thing ever. He has wrangled Eric, who plays his butler/manservant/podcast producer, to create a game show to test this theory. In every episode, a guest comes on to describe and defend their favorite thing (could be a piece of media, a subject, a hobby, or anything else). The guest competes in a series of games and challenges, with Eric serving as umpire and Adal judging and awarding points based on contestants’ performances. Think of it as a friendly (if unhinged) conversational podcast meets The Most Dangerous Game. Launches February 23 from Multitude.
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Radiotopia Presents will launch Bot Love, a new multi-part series exploring true stories of how humans are developing meaningful relationships with artificial intelligence chatbots. One example to get you hooked: a woman creates and falls in love with her own AI companion to escape depression (yes, this is basically the plot of the 2013 movie Her). From Anna Oakes, Diego Senior, and Radiotopia from PRX.
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Unwell, a “Midwestern Gothic Mystery” audio drama, follows Lillian Harper, who moves to the small town of Mt. Absalom, Ohio to care for her estranged mother Dorothy after an injury. Living in the town’s boarding house, which has been run by her family for generations, she unearths conspiracies, encounters ghosts, and forms a new family among the house’s strange assortment of residents. Unwell launches its final season in March, 2023. From Fable and Folly.
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We Fix Space Junk follows seasoned smuggler Kilner and reluctant fugitive Samantha as they travel the galaxy, dodging bullets and meeting strange and wonderful beings as they carry out odd jobs on the fringes of the law. A female-led sci-fi comedy sitcom set in a far-future dystopian world, We Fix Space Junk draws on the sci-fi of the past, following in the footsteps of Harry Harrison and of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s equal parts a love-letter to the genre and and satire of our present day world. While not a new podcast, the show is returning after a long hiatus in early 2023. From Fable and Folly.
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Ben Bailey Smith (aka Doc Brown) and psychotherapist Sasha Bates go deep inside the minds of iconic TV characters, from Tony Soprano to Shiv Roy from Succession, putting them on the psychotherapist’s couch and learning what lies beneath their complex behaviors. In an innovative take on the TV review, Shrink the Box uses the experiences and expertise of an actor and a therapist to deliver a greater appreciation for the writing, directing and performances from the greatest shows of all time. Premiers Jan. 31 from Somethin’ Else and Sony Music Entertainment.
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Sam Mullins, the breakout star of Chameleon: Wild Boys, brings listeners into the twisted world Dr. Ronald Dante, a prodigiously talented hypnotist (and not an actual doctor) whose mind-bending schemes spanned decades. Dante worked the smoke-filled nightclubs of 1960s Hollywood and rode the self-help craze of the 1980s and ‘90s, hypnotizing women out of their fortunes, taking out hits on his rivals, and opening up one of the biggest fake universities in history. Mullins tracks Dante through yacht clubs, prison cells, trailer parks and theme parks to uncover the unbelievable true story of the greatest con man you’ve never heard of. Coming Jan. 9 from Campside & Sony Music Entertainment.
It’s Giving Fashion
As award show season approaches and everyone is ready to walk the steps of the Met Gala, we bring you It’s Giving Fashion, a weekly chat series all about critiquing, shading, and obsessing over the latest trends in fashion, gossip, pop culture, social media, and more. Host (and actor, musician, model and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner) Shea Couleé will be joined by Tiger Lily as her on-mic companion, dissecting each week’s hottest fashion news. Premieres Jan. 26 from Somethin’ Else.
Cover Up: Ministry of Secrets
A missing person. A Cold War mystery. A story so secret the truth behind it has been hidden for a hundred years. At its heart, this show is about the wartime hero said to be the inspiration for James Bond, but that’s only the beginning. Over the course of eight episodes, Ministry of Secrets host Giles Milton will take listeners on a thrilling journey into the shadowy world of the British Royal Family, MI6, the CIA, and the KGB, exposing a trail of lies and cover ups at the heart of the British Establishment. Premiers Feb. 6 from Somethin’ Else and Sony Music Entertainment.
Plastic is everywhere: in our homes, in the products we buy, in the food we eat, in our oceans, in our soil, in the air we breathe, and even in our bodies. How on earth did we get here? And is this all as bad as it sounds? While plastic has made a lot of technological marvels possible, it has had a serious impact on the environment, killing wildlife, leaching harmful chemicals, and disrupting habitats. And the speed of plastic manufacturing–and discarding–has only increased. In Disposable, Emmy-winning journalist Gloria Riviera takes a look the story of one woman who took on a billion dollar plastics factory and won, and explores the big players behind Big Plastic, from lawmakers to corporations, to those who are holding them accountable. The world is at a turning point with its relationship to plastic. In this show, you’ll learn how you can join the fight. Launching Feb. 7 from Lemonada.
The Social Dose
Work, socializing, family dinners, and general adulting can really get in the way of the important everyday occurrences in the social media-verse. Are you missing out on scammers stories, caught catfishers, nightclub corpses, petty elephants, and the latest expose? The Social Dose, hosted by Michael Judson Berry and Paris Nicholson, is your destination for daily roundups of all the best news, gossip, insights, and beefs from your favorite (and not to savorite) social media platforms. Premiers Feb. 21 rom Somethin’ Else.
Silenced: Murder in Little Haiti
In this follow up project to Forgotten: Women of Juarez, Oz Woloshyn and award-winning investigative reporter Ana Arana take up a cold case that continues to haunt Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood in Silenced: Murder in Little Haiti. In the early 1990s, several radio journalists were murdered in short order. As one of the detectives in charge of the investigation said, “These men were killed for words they spoke on the airwaves.” But the murders were never solved, leaving a wound in Haitian community that remains painful to this day. Part spy story and part noir thriller, this investigation touches on racism, corruption, drug trafficking, and involvement by U.S. intelligence agencies, among other heady stuff. Arana first reported on the crimes in the early 1990s and revisits here a story that has continued to haunt her. Launching in March from Kaleidoscope.
Just Say You’re Sorry
Texas Ranger James Holland is celebrated as the “serial killer whisperer,” and has solved dozens of cold case murders through the use of his legendary interrogation skills. He even convinced the notorious murderer Samuel Little to confess to the killing of dozens of women. But how far does this charismatic cop go to extract confessions? And has he put innocent people behind bars along the way? These questions kick off an investigation by journalist Maurice Chammah, as Just Say You’re Sorry explores the rot at the heart of the criminal justice system. Coming in March from Somethin’ Else.
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