Podcasts “The Bright Sessions” and “Tanis” Being Adapted for TV

According to both the Facebook page for The Bright Sessions and HollywoodReporter.comThe Bright Sessions and Tanis are being adapted by Dark Horse Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions.

This announcement is a landmark in podcasting history. While Lore is the first podcast to get a TV show, the show isn’t an audio drama; it’s a collection of horror stories amassed from sources like Creepy Pasta and No Sleep. Similarly, My Brother, My Brother and Me was an adaptation for Seeso, but the show is essentially an advice column, not an audio drama. The Adventure Zone and Welcome to Night Vale have both gotten books (in the case of The Adventure Zone, a graphic novel) but nothing close to a TV adaptation.

When Limetown finished its first season, a TV pilot was discussed, but the announcement was years ago. Two-Up Productions seems to have moded on to its newer projects, like 36 Questions.

This is the first time an audio drama has been developed for TV. Not only was one adaptation announced, but two–and one for an independent show. While both The Bright Sessions and Tanis have received critical acclaim, Tanis is part of a podcasting network while The Bright Sessions remains an independent production.

Hopefully, this marks a shift in both exposure for audio drama as a medium and the legitimization of audio drama as a medium. While more people listen to podcasts now than they ever have, the discussion around podcasts is usually pedantic at best. This inclusion of audio drama in “old media” could mark a huge surge in listenership and legitimate critical discussion for the medium.

Here is the current release on both adaptations:

Based on the serialized, bi-weekly podcast, Tanis follows Nic Silver on his search to unravel what he thinks might be the last great mystery of the internet age. “Tanis” is what happens when the lines of science and fiction start to blur. Lee Shipman (The Son) is attached to adapt with podcast creator Terry Miles. Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) and Debbie Liebling (South Park) will produce through their POD 3 banner, along with Dark Horse.

The Bright Sessions is described as a sci-fi drama that follows a mysterious therapist and her unique set of patients, each struggling with a supernatural ability. Created and written by Lauren Shippen, the acclaimed podcast has been downloaded over 6 million times. Gabrielle G. Stanton (Grey’s Anatomy, The Flash) and Shippen are penning the adaptation.

A note: In this article, I mention that The Bright Sessions would be the first fiction podcast to be adapted for TV. However, Homecoming is also in early stages of development by the creator of Mr. Robot. It should be noted that my enthusiams here is specifically for independent, small-team, small-name podcasts–a category which Homecoming is absolutely not a part of. Homecoming being adapted for TV is nowhere near as revolutionary as a show like The Bright Sessions being adapted for TV.

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