For the past decade and a half, Jad Abumrad has co-hosted Radiolab, a radio show and podcast, for WNYC Studios. In that time, the show has become a bona fide hit, racking up millions of podcast downloads every month ... but by 2013, Abumrad wanted a change.
“I was getting kind of restless,” Abumrad said on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “I felt like we were doing the same stories a lot — I mean, each story was different, but we were in the same neighborhood of science-meets-philosophy/wonder, that kind of thing. So I asked the team of producers: ‘Here’s a crazy idea: Go look at the Supreme Court docket.’”
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One producer, Tim Howard, came back with a riveting story about a custody battle, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, which became a Radiolab episode of the same name. After several more episodes based on court cases, the team realized they could make an entire new show around them. So they did.
“There’s so many of these cases,” Abumrad said. “If you just peel away the legality stuff, you get down to the personal layers, then the cultural layers and the political layers and historical layers. They’re just so rich. I was like, this needs to be its own spinoff.”
Season two of that spinoff, More Perfect, debuts on Oct. 2. Abumrad said it will be a “little more of the same” compared to the six-episode first season, but “this time, for real.”
“It’s a bigger season, bigger stories, way more contemporary,” he said. “I feel like the crazy world that is America right now is very much present in every single story: The travel ban, police brutality, all the big decisions.”
“We’re not doing new stories, but I do feel like every story I tell has to teach me something about this moment,” he said.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.