“Pod Save America” is a twice-weekly podcast on which journalists, comedians, and activists talk about politics in the Trump era. It premiered in January 2017, and is hosted by former Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Dan Pfeiffer, and Jon Lovett (Favreau and Vietor are both Massachusetts natives). It is hugely successful, averaging some 1.5 million listeners per episode. Overall, the show has been downloaded 175 million times., with guests ranging from Congressman Seth Moulton and Vox’s Ezra Klein to Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel.
Now, HBO has ordered a series of hourlong TV specials based on the podcast. The specials will be filmed on the campaign trail, as we head into the 2018 midterm elections. “The best part of ‘Pod Save America’ is taking the show on the road and meeting activists, candidates and people who are getting involved in politics for the first time,” said Favreau, Lovett, and Vietor in a joint statement. “They know that the 2018 midterms are the most important elections of our lifetime, and the energy and excitement on the campaign trail is infectious. We are so grateful that HBO is taking a chance on us, even though these live shows will have so few dragons and sex robots.”Matthew Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.