NBC’s Dateline on a podcast roll

“Dateline NBC,” the Peacock network’s longest-running prime-time series, discovered the world of podcasting in 2019. 

And then a funny thing happened. Viewers really, really wanted to listen to audio versions of the TV show.

“We put a lot of effort into making our shows look good on TV, but the core of it is still great storytelling, which comes through,” says “Dateline executive producer Elizabeth Cole, in a Talking Tech interview with USA TODAY.  

“Dateline”fits into a niche popular with podcast listeners, true crime, and found the “showcast” of the series in the top 20 roster of Apple’s podcast chart.

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A “Dateline original, “The Thing About Pam” made Apple’s top 25 most popular new shows of 2019, while another, “13 Alibis,” an investigation of a convicted murderer serving 20 years in prison for a crime he claims he did not commit hit #3 on Apple’s chart. 

Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison (Photo: NBC)

Additionally, outside of true crime, “Dateline”correspondent Keith Morrison’s readings of classic holiday stories, like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” are also available as podcasts.

All told, NBC has seen nearly 50 million downloads of the podcasts. 

“We love the idea that we can expand the numbers of people we reach on different platforms,” says Cole. “We like reaching to viewers wherever they reside.”

Dateline” has been airing on NBC for 28 seasons, and beyond prime time, where it airs on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, some 90 hours of reruns air weekly on OWN, Oxygen, USA, MSNBC, ID and in syndication. 

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham,) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. 

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