A Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson-hosted and produced show about former Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” is among the first projects set for the launch of Lionsgate’s new podcast division, Lionsgate Sound.
Jackson’s show has the working title “Cuate/twin/: the downfall of El Chapo” and is part of his newly established G-Unit Audio, exclusively distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network.
In “Cuate/twin/: the downfall of El Chapo,” speaking publicly for the first time ever, Chicago-born identical twins Peter and Jay Flores will explore how they became two of the biggest drug traffickers in America, peddling tons of cocaine across the country and eventually become seated at the right hand of El Chapo himself, only to eventually betray him in a desperate attempt to escape.
Three other shows will also launch along with Lionsgate Sound, those being the interview podcast “Playing Dead,” an FBI-focused show called “A Nation for Thieves” and “Died and Survived,” which details near-death experiences. Lionsgate Sound is also producing a true-crime thriller called “The Lives and Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman” for exclusive distribution by CBC.
All the shows will be distributed widely across all platforms, with the studio working on more than a dozen additional projects in the pipeline.
Lionsgate Sound will operate as a full-service podcast production company, handling podcast production for the studio’s film and television businesses while also overseeing all elements of podcast production for third-party clients.
Lionsgate company Pilgrim Media Group – headed by producer Craig Piligian – is a minority owner in Lionsgate Sound and will handle the day-to-day operations of the group, which will be overseen by Gretchen Stockdale and Nicholas Caprio. Broadcast journalist and producer Charlie Webster will head up creative for the division.
“We look forward to entering the rapidly expanding podcast market as a great source of exciting new properties as well as an opportunity to feed the growing demand for audio content with our films, television series, Starz original programming, and library titles. This initiative demonstrates Lionsgate’s 360-degree approach to content, creating an opportunity for us to continue onscreen stories and make companion podcasts to serve fans of our IP while scaling the audience base for new projects,” Joe Drake, chair of the Motion Picture Group, and Kevin Beggs, chair of the Lionsgate Television Group, said in a joint statement.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Curtis ‘50’ Cent Jackson and the other talented creators behind our upcoming shows,” Piligian said. “With our strong lineup out of the gate, we are well-positioned to reach the next generation of consumers.”
Lionsgate Sound will be governed by a board of directors comprised of Scott Herbst, EVP and head of scripted development, Lionsgate Television; Suzy Felfeli, executive director of corporate development; Lionsgate MPG development executive Scott O’Brien; and Pilgrim Media’s Piligian and Stockdale. Lionsgate EVP and head of global products & experiences Jenefer Brown has also been heavily involved with the initiative as a key facilitator across multiple content groups of cross-company IP.
“Playing Dead” is hosted by actor Michael Nathanson (Netflix’s “Marvel’s The Punisher”) and will explore the deaths and lives of television and film’s most iconic characters. This new interview podcast will feature actors and creators who will share their first-hand experience of what it’s really like to bring life, and subsequently death, to these quintessential roles.
In “A Nation for Thieves,” host Justin Shenkarow will delve into how FBI special agent Debra LaPrevotte single-handedly created the FBI’s first kleptocracy department. The podcast will explore how LaPrevotte recovered over $1 billion dollars of dirty money from the world’s most corrupt leaders, whose actions have fueled war crimes and other atrocities including the current war in Ukraine.
And in the eight-part series “Died and Survived,” Charlie Webster will act as a detective, piecing together clues to build a bulletproof case and find out what we can learn about how we approach death. She’ll meet with “experiencers” and hear their startling personal encounters with death, and chat with experts who are using hard science and modern technology to gain never-before-seen or heard evidence of the afterlife.
“The Lives and Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman” is an eight-part “forensic biography” of the incredible rise and the tragic deaths of pharma billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife Honey. This series shines a light on what extreme wealth does – not just for people, but to them.