‘Serial’ Podcast to Take Up Bowe Bergdahl Case


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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.Credit US Army

The next season of the hugely successful podcast “Serial” will focus on the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Army soldier who went missing from his base while deployed in Afghanistan in 2009 and held prisoner by the Taliban, a person familiar with the project said. The season will be co-produced by Page One, the journalistic film company owned by the screenwriter Mark Boal (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and run by Hugo Lindgren, a former editor of the New York Times Magazine, the person added.

Freed in a 2014 prisoner exchange, Sgt. Bergdahl has claimed he was abducted, but the Army has charged him with desertion and endangering troops who searched for him. The Army is holding a preliminary hearing to decide whether Sgt. Bergdahl should face a court-martial.

A spokesman for “Serial” would not confirm that a topic has been chosen, saying only, “Over the last few months they’ve been reporting on a variety of stories for both Seasons 2 and 3 of ‘Serial,’ along with other podcast projects.”

The first season of “Serial,” which was created as an offshoot of the hit public radio show “This American Life,” became one of the most popular podcasts of all time – it has been downloaded some 80 million times — and won a Peabody Award.

The original series explored the fuzzy circumstances surrounding the murder conviction of Adnan Syed in Baltimore. The Bergdahl project seems destined to prove difficult because of the intense secrecy around his case.

Meanwhile, Mr. Boal, a former journalist who worked with Kathryn Bigelow on “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” is also working on a movie about Sgt. Bergdahl. News of plans to “Serial”-ize the Bergdahl case was first reported by Maxim.



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