Serial will return for its third season on September 20, having been dormant since season two aired back in 2015. Season three will focus on the entire criminal justice system in the US — more specifically on the inconsistencies and failures of the courts in Cleveland, Ohio.
"What does season one tell us about the criminal justice system?" asks host Sarah Koenig in the season's trailer. She concludes that instead of using Syed's extraordinary case to examine the system from the inside, she must use many ordinary cases.
Koenig and her crew spent one year in the Cleveland courts, where they recorded not only in courtrooms but also in judge's chambers, prosecutors office and back hallways, plus outside the courthouse in family member's houses, streets and prisons.
In the season three trailer, Koenig mentions one case in particular — that of Greg Rucker, whose prison recordings include an admission of guilt. Yet, in just this one trial, Koenig is witness to an onslaught of court offences, including extra charges, pressure to plead guilty, shabby police work, "eleventh hour" evidence, dozing jurors and judge — all ending with an outsized prison sentence. But, since Rucker is guilty, should we even care? This is a question that Serial will explore throughout the season.
Again, the story will unfold week-by-week. To listen to the season three trailer or catch up on past seasons, check out the Serial website.
The first two episodes of Serial season 3 will be released on the morning of Thursday, September 20 — Eastern Daylight Time (New York). No exact time has been announced, but past Serial episodes have dropped around 9.30am EDT, which corresponds to about 11.30pm in Australia and 1.30am in New Zealand. So, you can either stay up late on Thursday and listen, or wait until your Friday morning commute to work. One new episode will be released each Thursday thereafter.