Gimlet Media's Starlee Kine (as well as her entire staff) got the boot before production had wrapped on Mystery Show's second season. While working on an episode, actually.
Starlee Kine, via the Mystery Show Facebook:
I’d been having trouble figuring out the new season – second seasons can be tricky – and so I'd gone away, to work on an episode. I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped, but the season was starting to take shape. The day I returned, Alex Blumberg told me the show was unsustainable. I was out. I lost my staff, my salary, my benefits, my budget and my email address. Mystery Show is the only show this has happened to at Gimlet. Just a few months prior, iTunes voted it Best Podcast of the Year.
Gimlet released a statement following Kine's confirming that Mystery Show was deemed "unsustainable".
Mystery Show is an ambitious production and Starlee has an uncompromising vision for the show, which is what makes it so great. However, these factors combined make Mystery Show unsustainable to produce and publish on a consistent basis, and therefore Gimlet will no longer produce new episodes of Mystery Show. We are in discussions with Starlee to reach an agreement where she may produce Mystery Show independently of Gimlet.
It seems Mystery Show season 2 is still being worked on. While the first season had some unengaging misses, the concept itself was solid and as interesting as the subjects were varied.
What's most sad here is that Gimlet admits to having something golden and letting it go. Their own Serial, of sorts. Of course an investigative show comes with costs, but what does that mean for their newest show? Heavyweight has a similar set-up and surely comes with operating costs that compare with Mystery Show. As a fan of that program, I hope that Gimlet can continue to support Goldstein where they couldn't Kine.