James Acaster’s new scripted comedy series Springleaf will debut at the end of summer as part of Acast’s Creator Network, the company has announced, following its unveiling at the London Podcast Festival in 2022.
The new multi-episode series will follow the story of undercover cop Pat Springleaf, played by Acaster, as he infiltrates a stand-up comedy scene to bust a drug ring.
Acaster, who is known for co-hosting the Off Menu podcast with Ed Gamble, will act alongside a number of famous faces and fellow comedians, including Kemah Bob and Kath Hughes, who featured in the pilot episode that was teased to the audience at the London Podcast Festival in 2022.
The podcast’s production was initially funded via Kickstarter, with 2,972 backers pledging £135,583 against a £89,000 goal. Acast has said that there will be opportunities for brands to integrate themselves into the show and the storyline.
“We're very excited about getting innovative new formats particularly, this year,” said Acast UK content director Sam Shetabi. “The big exciting thing about [Springleaf] for us is that it's audio fiction and comedy, which is quite rare in the UK anyway, but it's particularly innovative for brands because they can be part of the narrative - which we're really excited about, because it's really unusual in podcasting.”
In addition to Springleaf, Acast has also signed a new dinner party podcast titled Stirring It Up with food TV presenter Andi Oliver and her daughter, broadcaster, and presenter Miquita Oliver. Each episode will feature the mother-daughter-duo in conversation with the guest and the guest’s plus-one about food, culture and everything in between.
Acast also announced that the hit comedy podcast ShxtsNGigs will be joining the Acast Creator Network this week, which will allow brands to advertise on the podcast through the network’s ad marketplace with either direct or programmatic buys and sponsorship opportunities. The show will continue to have the same format with “legendary conversations” between the hosts James and Fuhad.
“We are so excited to have them on the Acast Creator Network,” Shetabi said. “They are an absolute phenomenon on Spotify, but also on your For You Page, and we firmly believe that they're going to be the next big thing in podcasting. They've already been taking the charts by storm, so they're going to have a very bright future ahead of them, and we're really pleased to have worked with YMU to bring them over to Acast.”