After a relatively quiet summer, the fall season promises a solid suite of new audio shows worth adding to your podcast queue. Our preview picks include new entries from a few consistently interesting publishers, the return of a wildly entertaining series that revolves around scams of epic proportions, a formally experimental independent-fiction podcast that will lean heavily on a bilingual structure, and Dolly Parton. Add a dash of science-related podcasts to this bunch, and you’ve got yourself a healthy listening diet for the weeks to come.
Patient Zero (New Hampshire Public Radio; 8/15)
Fresh off Bear Brook, its thoughtful exercise in true crime, New Hampshire Public Radio’s narrative project is switching gears. With Patient Zero, host Taylor Quimby and producer Sam Evans-Brown will explore Lyme disease.
Scam Goddess With Laci Mosley (Earwolf; 10/1)
Scams, scams, scams: It’s true crime without the bodies (mostly). In each episode of this weekly podcast, Laci Mosley — a.k.a. Scam Goddess — will pair up with special guests to break down some of the world’s oldest and most enduring scams. The nature of humanity and human history — that’s a lot to go through.
Moonface (Independent; 10/9)
Created and directed by James Kim, the co-host of the wonderfully quirky The Competition, Moonface is a bilingual serialized audio dramedy that tells the story of Paul, a second-generation Asian-American who can’t speak Korean and must learn the language in order to have an honest conversation with his mother, who struggles with English, about his sexuality.
Bad Batch (Wondery; 10/23)
Laura Beil and the team behind Dr. Death are back with another journey through the nightmare that is the American health-care system. Bad Batch will follow Beil’s investigation into Liveyon, a start-up that claims to use stem cells to treat pain, autoimmune diseases, infections, and even autism. The company was hailed as a success — until several of its stem-cell customers started falling critically ill.
The Dream: Season Two (Little Everywhere and Stitcher Originals; 11/4)
The first season of Jane Marie and Dann Gallucci’s The Dream explored the bizarre world of multilevel-marketing schemes and their grip on American society. The series returns with more dirt on more charlatans.
Hunting Warhead (CBC; 11/5)
A brand-new project from our crime-obsessed Canadian siblings, Hunting Warhead is a series that follows the story of an international team of police officers as they attempt to track down the people behind a massive child-porn site — and the ethically complicated lengths authorities will go to to do so.
Dolly Parton’s America (WNYC Studios; fall)
It’s always a treat when Jad Abumrad cooks up something new. The nine-part series Dolly Parton’s America will look at her life and appeal.
Short Wave (NPR; fall)
Following in the footsteps of The Indicator, Planet Money’s daily spinoff, Short Wave, a daily podcast soon to launch by NPR, will draw on the strength of its science desk to help listeners see the world a little differently. It will be hosted by Madeline Sofia, who previously led a special series called Maddie About Science.
*This article appears in the September 2, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!