The incredibly popular podcast series Serial will return for season 3 later this month.

The first two seasons had a significant cultural impact—and in the case of Adnan Syed, the subject of season 1, a legal one as well.

Together, the first two seasons, which followed individual stories over 12 and 11 episodes respectively, have been downloaded over 340 million times.

Here is all you need to know about the third season of Serial including its release date, what it is about and how to listen to it.


When is Serial season 3 podcast released?

Serial season 3 will be released on Thursday, September 20 with the first two episodes available on the day. There will be 10 episodes in total.

Is there a season 3 trailer?

The trailer for season 3 was released on September 5. It is an eight-minute clip from the podcast in which host Sarah Koenig outlines this season's topic: the US criminal justice system, as seen in action in and out of the Cleveland courthouses.

What is Serial?

Serial is an investigative journalism podcast that is hosted by Sarah Koenig. The series is developed by This American Life and is broken down into weekly episodes that explore a nonfiction story.

What will season 3 be about?

The third season of the Peabody Award-winning podcast focuses on the Cleveland, Ohio judicial system.


Serial host Sarah Koenig spent over a year tracking cases as minor as marijuana possession and more serious felonies as they made their way through the Cleveland courts.

In the trailer she recounts how in her investigation she witnessed "a litany of things that shouldn't be allowed" including "extra charges loaded onto a case, pressure to plead, shoddy police work" and more.

Koenig explains how season 1 sparked people's interest in the state of the US criminal justice system.

She goes on to say how it's not feasible to study a criminal justice system through one case: "Ordinary cases are where we need to look.

"This season of Serial we do just that. We take a look at the entire criminal justice system. A year inside the criminal courts in Cleveland, Ohio."

"I've had this urgent feeling of wanting to kind of hold open the courthouse door, and wave people inside. Because things are happening — shocking things, fascinating things — in plain sight," Koenig told Cleveland Magazine.

Why Cleveland?

Koenig explains that Cleveland was chosen because "they let us record, everywhere. Courtrooms, back hallways, judges' chambers, prosecutor's office. And then we followed those cases outside the building into neighbourhoods, people's houses and into prison."

How to listen and download the new season?

As with the previous seasons, listeners can stream the podcast on Serial's website.

Episodes can also be downloaded on smartphones: via the Podcasts app on iPhones, and Google Podcasts, RadioPublic or Stitcher on Android phones.

Who is Emmanuel Dzotsi?

Emmanuel Dzotsi is a former This American Life fellow, a reporter and associate producer on the third season of the podcast. The Ohio State University Poli Sci graduate also worked for Chicago Public Media.

Along with host Sarah Koenig, Dzotsi spent a year winding through the Cleveland justice system, tracking the progress of criminal cases ranging from the small to the serious.

What happened in Serial seasons 1 and 2?

The first season of Serial focused on the 1999 Baltimore murder of Hae Min Lee and investigated the conviction of Min Lee's boyfriend Adnan Syed.

The show's investigation led to a judge overturning Syed's original conviction in 2016 and granting him a retrial.

The second season of Serial was released in 2015 and explored the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the US soldier who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and released in a prisoner-exchange in 2014.

Bergdahl was charged with desertion in 2015 and a few months later, after the release of Serial, Bergdahl's case was ordered to a general court-martial. He pleaded guilty to desertion in October 2017.