WarnerMedia is kicking up its investment in podcasts for HBO Max — announcing among other things that “Batman: The Audio Adventures” will be released exclusively on HBO Max in the fall.
In partnership with Warner Bros. and DC, scripted audio original “Batman: The Audio Adventures” starring Jeffrey Wright as the Caped Crusader draws inspiration from the vintage-noir atmosphere of the “Batman: The Animated Series,” the classic 1960s “Batman” TV series, and the entire 80-plus year history of the franchise.
Along with Wright, “Batman: The Animated Series” also stars Rosario Dawson as Catwoman, John Leguizamo as the Riddler, and various “Saturday Night Live” alums. The podcast is written and directed by Dennis McNicholas.
“Batman: The Audio Adventures” is the first — and for now, only — HBO Max podcast that will be available exclusively on the streaming platform. HBO Max’s other podcasts are also available on other podcast platforms.
HBO first started producing original podcasts in 2019, and the the HBO Max Podcast Program now has more than 25 series, including companion podcasts for series such as “Chernobyl” and “Lovecraft Country.” It also has launched brand podcasts like “HBO Max Movie Club,” hosted by comedian Matt Rogers (“Las Culturistas”), and is producing look-back podcasts that pull from the streamer’s library of content.
Coming Sept. 9, HBO Max will launch its first look-back podcast in honor of the 20th anniversary of “Band of Brothers.” Hosted by Roger Bennett, the show will kick off with an interview with executive producer Tom Hanks and will feature interviews with additional former castmates over the course of several weeks.
Debuting this fall is “We Stay Looking,” a sequel to Issa Rae’s “Insecure” companion podcast, “Looking for Latoya,” and the platform’s first-ever scripted HBO podcast series. Made in partnership with Raedio and Tenderfoot TV, “Looking for Latoya,” is satirical series based on the show-within-the-show of the same name that sheds light on the way missing Black women are often underreported in the media. The scripted sequel, “We Stay Looking,” will mirror the format, but delve into a range of topics including prison labor in America, racism in school systems, the alarming mortality rate of Black women during hospital stays and childbirth, and more.
In addition, HBO Max has partnered with Kast Media to bring HBO Max users what it touts as the ultimate “The OC” rewatch podcast, “Welcome to The OC, Bitches,” which is currently available for in-app streaming. In each podcast episode, hosts Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke will take fans back to a particular episode of the classic series, share behind-the-scenes scoops, and interview guests who were part of “The OC” experience.
“Our viewers tell us that, more than any other streaming platform, they want to discuss and dissect HBO Max programming with friends and family to extend the emotional experience after finishing an episode,” Joshua Walker, chief strategy officer at HBO Max, said in a statement. “Our fans are at the center of everything we do, so we’re following their lead by increasing our investment in podcasting, building on our successful and award-winning podcast program to deliver even more engaging, thoughtful content.”
As part of the podcast push, HBO Max is expanding its partnership with Audacy to include HBO Max and HBO Documentary titles. Under the pact, Audacy also will team with WarnerMedia to provide consumer insights and marketing.
HBO Max will continue its partnership with iHeartMedia, which been the coproduction partner of podcasts for Max Original series including “Raised by Wolves,” “Genera+ion,” “Search Party” and “Murder at White House Farms.” HBO Max and iHeartMedia will produce new titles and introduce brand new formats.