'Serial' podcast's second season goes live – and the website crashes within minutes

The world's most popular podcast returns with the story of a disgraced army sergeant

'Serial' podcast's second season goes live – and the website crashes within minutes

Bowe Bergdahl [Photo: United States Army]

After being downloaded more than 100m times last year and changing the media landscape by establishing how long-form content podcasts could become a huge global hit, Serial has returned for a second series - and broken the Internet in the process. After the debut episode of the second season went live this morning, the show's website had crashed within 15 minutes.

The This American Life spin-off has returned with the story of former POW and accused deserter Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, with reporter Sarah Koenig once again investigating the story and poring over every detail in an effort to come to some conclusion.

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was taken hostage by a pro-Taliban guerrilla group, but was released in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees in May of last year. According to the soldier’s own admissions, he was taken by the insurgent group the Haqqani network after deliberately walking away from his post in order to give light to the several conditions in his unit that he found concerning.

Bergdahl was ultimately charged with deserting his post and with misbehaviour before the enemy, and several of the soldiers who served with him maintain he abandon his outpost for other reasons.

Bergdahl now faces life in prison.

Journalist Sarah Koenig, whose work on Serial won the show a prestigious Peabody Award

The first series of Serial focussed on the murder of Baltimore schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. Syed has always protested his innocence, and the investigations carried out by the show eventually led to his case being reopened.

Serial and its production are also being adapted for television, with the directors of The LEGO MOVIE, Chris Miller and Phil Lord set to serialise how Serial's journalists became world famous for their podcast. 

You can find the first episode of the podcast over on the Serial website.