Serial podcast returning for season 3 with new format

For all those who couldn't bear to pull their headphones out until they had made their mind up about Adnan Syed – you're in luck.

Serial is coming back for a third season, but this time it's having a huge format change.

The series heading to court in Cleveland to look at the whole criminal justice case by examining a number of different, more "ordinary" cases.

[Adnan Syed]

Set week by week in one courtroom, everything is put under the microscope and put on full display.

"People have asked Sarah Koenig and the Serial team, 'What does that case – Adnan Syed's murder conviction – tell us about the criminal justice system?'," the show declared. "But cases like that one are not typical: a defendant with no criminal record, a private defence attorney, a six-week trial — the fact that it went to trial at all!

"Extraordinary cases like Adnan Syed's are not what's filling America's courtrooms. To tackle the criminal justice system, Serial would need to look at something different: ordinary cases."

Recorded in Cleveland, Serial will record everywhere from courtrooms, back hallways, judges' chambers, prosecutors' offices. The cases are then followed into the neighbourhoods, homes and prison.

[Sarah Koenig]

The show adds: "We watched how justice is calculated in cases of all sizes, from the smallest misdemeanour to the most serious felony — the manipulations, the distortions, the justifications, the gap between the crimes people actually committed, and the crimes they were punished for."

Syed, the subject of the first series of the podcast by Koenig, was recently granted a retrial after being imprisoned in 2000 for the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.

Two new episodes of Serial will launch on September 20, with the remainder released weekly on Thursdays.