The most star-packed podcast we’ve seen, both in the cast and production team, is set for its 10-episode launch on Feb. 7, nearly a year after it was announced. Developed by audio advertising sales company AudioHQ, in collaboration with Cinema Gypsy Productions and TateMen Entertainment, the show is called Bronzeville after a title change from Policy Kings.
The scripted drama is set in 1940s Chicago, and focuses on the so-called Policy Games which were a popular form of gambling, and what the announcement calls “the self-sustainability of the community’s African American residents.” The script is from Academy Award nominee Josh Olson.
Voicing the drama is a luminary cast including Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate (both executive producers also), Tika Sumpter, Golden Globe Winner Tracee Ellis Ross, Wood Harris, Omari Hardwick, Lance Reddick, Cory Hardirct, Lahmard Tate and Brittany Snow. While we have not heard a preview, the Hollywood power recruited for this on-demand audio drama is impressive, possibly setting a new benchmark for production value and investment in the podcast category.
The series will also spotlight original music by 1500 Or Nothin, a Grammy-winning group of songwriters and producers. The ensemble has worked on hits by Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, and many others.
On February 9, two days after the first episode drops, Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate will host an invitation-only event as the New York office of Spotify, one of the key distribution partners for Bronzeville. That gathering, hosted by Tamron Hall of NBC News, is in honor of Black History Month. Other outlets for the series include GlobalGrind, Radio One Digital, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Google Play … and, of course, Apple iTunes and the Apple Podcasts app.
The show will be hosted at podcast technology company ART19.
AudioHQ is the sales arm of this venture, in addition to developing and co-producing. Presenting sponsors are GEICO, Blue Apron, Quicken Loans, and Viceland.