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This American Life – Wikipedia

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**Format and History:**
– Show debuted as ‘Your Radio Playhouse’ in 1995 with a format of different segments.
– National syndication began in 1996, and the early response was positive.
– The show has a theme explored in several acts, produced by staff and freelance contributors.
– Hosted by Ira Glass, programs start with an intro and cover topics from gloomy to humorous.
– Show often addresses current events and was picked up by CBC Radio One in 2011.

**Production and Reception:**
– Produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media and distributed by Public Radio Exchange.
– Glass serves as the executive producer, and the show is carried on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
– Early response was largely positive, with positive reviews praising the production style and storytelling.
– Show promoted to stations with unique strategy, leading to airing on 325 public radio stations by 1999.
– Notable guests include Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Paterniti, with recognition for launching literary careers.

**Controversy and Awards:**
– Controversies include the retraction of episodes like the Apple factory story in 2012.
– Received Peabody Awards in 1996 and 2006 for innovative storytelling, and the Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting in 2020.
– Episode ‘The Out Crowd’ won the Pulitzer for impactful journalism, and the show has received recognition for groundbreaking work.
– Controversial episodes like ‘The pimp show’ have led to retractions and cancellations of planned live performances.
– Episode by Mike Daisey was based on fabrications, leading to retraction after learning of the falsehoods.

**Listenership and Cultural Impact:**
– In 1999, over 800,000 people listened to the show on 332 public radio stations, growing to 2.2 million weekly listeners and 3.6 million podcast audience by 2019.
– The show has a wide reach across various platforms, attracting a large and diverse audience.
– Considered a pioneer in modern American journalism, revolutionizing public radio and popularizing storytelling.
– Recognized for influencing the growth of podcasting as an industry and its impact on modern media culture.
– Authors and journalists have highlighted the show’s influence on storytelling and journalism.

**Expansion and Adaptations:**
– Launched the podcast ‘Serial’ and a TV adaptation on Showtime.
– Released a new podcast ‘The Improvement Association’ and moved from Chicago to New York.
– Stories from TAL have been used as movie scripts, with adaptations like ‘Unaccompanied Minors’ and ‘The Informant.’
Live tours have been conducted since 2000, with material edited into radio episodes and performances in various cities.
– The show has been adapted into digital cinema events, making it the first public media program to use digital cinema in 2008.

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