Wondery’s “American Hostage” is based on a true crime story from 1977 involving a radio DJ in Indianapolis, a hair-raising 63-hour standoff, and the most dangerous interview of his life. In the series, Jon Hamm lends his voice as the real-life reporter Fred Heckman. He finds himself in a life-or-death crisis when hostage-taker Tony Kiritsis demands an on-air interview. As advised by law enforcement, Fred acquiesced to Tony’s demand and the show became a media sensation while opening a greater conversation on economic issues and societal inequalities.
We learn of Tony’s mortgage-lending troubles, the shotgun tied around his banker’s neck, and why he wanted a full radio takeover. Uh oh. This life-changing hostage situation changed lives forever, and Tony was viewed as an anti-hero.
Stream the 8-episode psychological thriller from episode one to hear the drama unfold. All episodes are now available to stream for subscribers and will be released on a weekly basis through April for non-subscribers. The episodes are under 30 minutes a pop.
By the second episode, Fred negotiates Tony’s request to take the reins on-air, and detectives ponder the consequences of having this random person saying whatever comes to mind. Police search Tony’s apartment in the third episode, and by the fourth episode, the FBI sends a profiler to prep Fred for the interview. Hear a dramatized version of Fred and Tony’s live radio conversation in episode 5. The SWAT team arrives by episode 6, and the public joins the conversation only to irritate Tony and put everyone in grave danger.
The seventh episode’s developments are unexpected. Tony wants an apology letter from the banking system to read at a televised press conference. And in the finale, the press conference hits the airwaves.
“American Hostage” is directed by Academy Award winner Shawn Christensen and the series also stars Carla Gugino, Joe Perrino, and Dylan Baker. Tune in to “American Hostage” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.