Hulu Lands TV Adaptation Of Rock ‘N’ Roll Spy Podcast ‘Wind Of Change’

Peter White
·3 min read

EXCLUSIVE: Wind of Change, the wild podcast that asks whether the CIA wrote the 1990 Scorpions hit song, is being adapted for television at Hulu.

Deadline understands that the streamer has landed the project, which is being developed by Alex Karpovsky, in a competitive situation.

The Patrick Radden Keefe-hosted podcast, which launched in May and became one of the buzziest audio series of the year, is produced by Pod Save America producer Crooked Media, Pineapple Street Studios, which produces podcasts such as The Clearing and The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow, and Spotify.

It is being written and exec produced by Karpovsky, who starred in Amazon’s television adaptation of Homecoming and wrote and directed Oh Jerome, No — which was part of FXX comedy Cake — and exec produced by Single Parent and Life in Pieces EP Jason Winer. 20th Television is the studio and is producing in association with Winer’s Small Dog Pictures, Crooked Media, Pineapple Street Studios and Spotify.’

Created and hosted by New Yorker investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, the eight-part podcast series follows Keefe as he explores a rumor he heard from a source within the CIA: The agency was behind the 1990 international hit power ballad “Winds of Change. He will look at spies doing the unthinkable, a secret history of propaganda hidden in pop music and a maze of government secrets as he attempts to untangle one of the great mysteries of the Cold War.

“Wind of Change was recorded by the then-West German rock band Scorpions in 1990; the lyrics were composed by lead singer Klaus Meine during the band’s visit to the USSR at the height of perestroika. It was released just after the failed coup that eventually would lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff writer at The New Yorker, and author of New York Times-bestseller Say Nothing as well as The Snakehead and Chatter. Previous reporting includes stories on chef Anthony Bourdain, the hunt for drug lord Chapo Guzman, and the mass shooter Amy Bishop. He is currently writing a book about the Sackler family and the opioid crisis.

Exec producers are Karpovsky, Winer, Radden Keefe, Small Dog’s Jon Radler, Crooked Media’s Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Sarah Geismer, Pineapple Street’s Jenna Weiss-Berman, Max Linsky and Henry Molofsky and Spotify’s Liz Gateley, Chris Giliberti and Justin McGoldrick.

Wind of Change marks the first TV development deal for Crooked Media, which was set up by former Barack Obama staffers Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett in 2017. It is the latest TV project for Pineapple Street, which co-produced cult podcast series Heaven’s Gate with Stitcher that was adapted as a four-part HBO Max docuseries. Spotify, meanwhile, recently started ramping up its TV and film activity with a deal with Chernin Entertainment.

It is the latest podcast to be developed for television. In addition to Homecoming, Amazon is developing QCode’s Dirty Diana, set to star Demi Moore, and Tessa Thompson’s The Left Right Game; Peacock ordered Wondery’s Dr. Death; HBO is working on Nice White Parents with Issa Rae and Adam McKay; Apple TV+ is making WeCrashed; and CBS All Access is adapting iHeart Media’s serial killer story Happy Face, from Robert and Michelle King.

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