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PBS Digital Studios Launches First-Ever Podcasts
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Based on Popular Digital Series IT’S LIT! and EONS

PRX to Distribute IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] and EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME in February and March 2022

 

ARLINGTON, VA; January 18, 2022 – Today, at The Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger announced the launch of the first-ever podcasts for PBS Digital StudiosIT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED]and EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME. Inspired by the popular YouTube series and debuting in February 2022, It’s Lit!unpacks popular and classic literature and its authors. Premiering in March of 2022, Eons, another popular PBS Digital Studios YouTube series, explores prehistoric life on Earth. Podcast listeners will have the opportunity to explore these subjects in new ways that are distinct to the audio format. IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] and EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME will each consist of 10 episodes.

Both projects are distributed by the public media organization PRX, which will enable PBS Digital Studios to build on its successes on YouTube and expand into audio storytelling. 

“Along with online video and social media, podcasts will play an important role in PBS’s growing slate of multiplatform content,” said Maribel Lopez, Head of PBS Digital Studios. “Podcasts are an ideal format for PBS Digital Studios’ distinct brand of storytelling and will allow us to continue expansion to audiences across platforms.”

“PBS produces some of the most impactful educational entertainment in the world. At PRX, we’re proud to collaborate across public media to help bring PBS Digital Studios’ first podcasts to listeners,” said Jason Saldanha, Chief of Business Development and Content at PRX. “We can’t wait for audiences to dive into these new shows bringing to life the endlessly complex, fascinating worlds of literature and science. Thank you to the production teams, hosts, and to our partners at PBS.”

IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] debuts on Tuesday, Feb. 1, following the success of PBS Digital Studios’ hit series, IT’S LIT!  As the [Unabridged] moniker suggests, the podcast is a deep dive into the world of literature, criticism, and publishing, offering a more narrow focus on a single topic than the web series. Hosted by Princess Weekes, the podcast will feature lively conversations with noted authors discussing their own work, influential novels, and issues related to books and literature. The series will also focus on highlighting the work of BIPOC writers. With a casual yet informative format, these conversations will be insightful to any literary fan, whether you’ve read a specific book or not. It’s the best book club without ever having to leave home. Based in Brooklyn, Weekes is also an assistant editor of the popular online publication “The Mary Sue,” “the geek girl’s guide to the universe.”            

IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] will release 10 new episodes, biweekly. Example episodes include: 

  • The Western Literary Canon with young adult author Ibi Zoboi (“American Street”)The works of Shakespeare, Plato and others have long been the framework of our collective literary heritage, but how does that heritage affect underrepresented groups? This episode covers the discourse of literary canon in the modern world - with some advocating for reimagining these stories, others wishing to expand the canon to be more inclusive, and some chucking the idea of a “western canon” altogether.
     
  • Adaptations with YouTube channel writer, editor and narrator Isabel Custudio (“Be Kind Rewind”): Crafting adaptations of beloved and epic stories has always been a part of storytelling. The highest-grossing film of all time, “Gone with the Wind,” is an adaptation. The amount of Jane Austen adaptations could fill a whole textbook. This episode asks: what makes a good book adaptation, what makes a bad one, and what is the impact of the big screen on the novel itself?
     

EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME premieres on Monday, March 14 and will explore the greatest mysteries of natural history. Pairing the science and storytelling of PBS EONS with an immersive audio experience, the podcast will convey a sense of curiosity and wonder about the gripping tales of past life on Earth. Hosts and science communicators Blake de Pastino, Kallie Moore and Michelle Barboza-Ramirez dig into the past and explore the greatest mysteries of natural history. From the dawn of the dinosaurs to modern downtown Los Angeles, they cover what is known and yet to be discovered about the history of life on Earth.

EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME will release 10 new episodes, biweekly. Example episodes include: 

  • La Brea Woman (w.t.): While the famous La Brea Tar Pits are well known for charismatic Ice Age megafauna, like sabretooth cats and dire wolves, a lesser-known discovery from the Pits is the partial skeleton of a human woman. This episode examines what the Tar Pits can tell us about the ecosystem of Los Angeles over the last 50,000 years, and why La Brea Woman remains such a mystery.
     
  • Dinosaur Origins (w.t.): Exactly where and when dinosaurs first evolved are still open questions in paleontology; It is hard to say what the first dinosaur even was. In this episode, dig into the evidence for dinosaur origins in the Triassic Period (between 252 and 201 million years ago) and try to understand the world they inhabited. Being able to point to the first dinosaur might help us understand how the biggest mass extinction of all time influenced the course of life on Earth.

 

IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] and EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME will be available to stream free on all major listening platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audacy and more, as well as PBS’s owned-and-operated digital platforms. 

Listeners are encouraged to engage in online conversation with #ItsLitPodcast, and can find It’s Lit on PBS Storied YoutubeInstagram, and Twitter. Eons: Mysteries of Deep Time listeners can use #EonsPodcast, and can also follow Eons accounts on YoutubeTikTokFacebook, Twitterand Instagram. PBS Digital Studios is on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] is produced for PBS Digital Studios by Spotzen and is distributed by PRX. For Spotzen, Amanda Fox serves as executive producer; Princess Weekes as host, writer, and producer; and Stephanie Noone as coordinating producer. Sound editing and mixing are done by Crutch Phrase Studio. For PBS, credits include Maribel Lopez as executive in charge; Gabrielle Ewing as director of programming; and Darren Knabe as director of audience development. IT’S LIT! [UNABRIDGED] has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

EONS: MYSTERIES OF DEEP TIME is produced for PBS Digital Studios by Complexly and is distributed by PRX. For Complexly, Hank Green serves as executive producer; Blake de Pastino as host and head of content; Kallie Moore as host and editorial consultant; Michelle Barboza-Ramirez as host; Nicole Sweeney as supervising producer; Darcy Shapiro as managing editor; Seth Radley as producer and editor; and Callie Dishman as sound designer. For PBS, credits include Maribel Lopez as executive in charge; Darren Knabe as director of audience development; and Niki Walker as associate director of programming. 

ABOUT PBS DIGITAL STUDIOS
PBS Digital Studios produces original, digital programming for YouTube and Facebook, designed to engage, enlighten, and entertain online audiences. The PBS Digital Studios network has more than 29 million subscribers, generating an average of 50 million views a month and has acquired more than three billion lifetime views. Currently, the Studio has 20 original series streaming online, including eight series from PBS member stations. Series include the Webby Award-winning IT’S OKAY TO BE SMART and CRASH COURSEas well as popular series such as TWO CENTSEONS and PBS SPACE TIME.

ABOUT PRX
PRX is a public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. With an award-winning portfolio of iconic public radio programs such as “The World,” “This American Life,” “The Moth Radio Hour,” “Latino USA,” “Snap Judgment,” and “Reveal,” PRX is also home to a growing body of podcast productions, including via the Radiotopia podcast network. More at PRX.org

ABOUT PBS 
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter

 

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MEDIA CONTACTS: 

Brandii M. Toby-Leon, Bullseye Communications
brandii.leon@bullseyecomm.com; 865-963-2418

Heather Marohn, Bullseye Communications
heather.marohn@bullseyecomm.com; 908-268-3770

Stephanie Kennard, PBS
skkennard@pbs.org; 571-319-7478

 

Editorial Note: For images and additional up-to-date information on EONS and IT’S LIT! and other PBS Digital Studios and PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at pbs.org/pressroom.