Will Packer’s Packer Media has partnered with iHeartMedia to launch The Lower Bottoms, a scripted podcast series that tells the story of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in West Oakland, CA.
Narrated by actor Kelsey Grammer, the 10-episode series focuses on the struggles of the Bay Area’s Lower Bottoms, “where newcomers and natives clash amid a troubling rise of vandalism and arson,” according to a release. Each episode “inches closer to revealing the perpetrator of these crimes, though discovering their identity turns out to be anything but simple.”
The show was created and written by Dominique Mouton, and produced by Will Packer, James Lopez and Joelle Monique for iHeartRadio and Jack Levy, who also serves as director.
The new partnership builds on the previous success of the true-crime podcast Fight Night, which launched on the iHeartMedia platform in October 2020 and was co-produced by Will Packer and James Lopez, President of Will Packer Productions. Fight Night examined one of Atlanta’s most infamous armed robberies that took placed on the same night of Muhammad Ali’s long-awaited return to boxing in 1970.
“We are excited to partner with iHeartMedia to provide innovative and entertaining content to the fast-growing podcast space,” Alix Baudin, president of Will Packer Media, said in a statement back in March. “Bringing captivating audio stories to diverse audiences allows us to expand our focus across different media platforms.”
The team at Will Packer Media is thrilled to bring the vision of Mouton and Levy to the masses on the No. 1 podcast publisher in the world.
“When writer/creator Dominique and director/producer Jack sent me the pitch materials and proof of concept audio for ‘The Lower Bottoms’ I was hooked,” says Lopez, President of Will Packer Productions. “Dominique’s writing is vivid and colorful and easily translated to the audio format. The cast we were able to put together was a testament to the material. We are fortunate to have found this great piece as our first narrative podcast and are excited to partner with iHeartMedia to introduce it to listeners everywhere.”
All future podcasts from Will Packer Media and iHeartMedia will be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network, which all parties involved believe would be a fruitful partnership.
“Will Packer is one of the most groundbreaking storytellers working today and he and his team are exactly the kind of innovative partners we love to support long-term in the podcast medium,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “He has such an incredible track record across film, television and digital media – and we cannot wait to see what sort of stories he creates for the more than 100MM Americans now listening to podcasts every month.”
Will Packer Media has produced and/or developed scripted programming for networks and streaming platforms including BET, NBC, OWN, ABC, Amazon Studios, CBS, FX, Nickelodeon, Lifetime and Fox. Additionally, the company has worked with Discovery and Universal Pictures, producing scripted and unscripted series, branded content and short-form digital video. In total, Packer’s films have earned more than $1 billion at the box office and helped launch the careers of Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, and many others.
The Lower Bottoms debuts July 20 on all major platforms.