Freakonomics Radio

7 p.m. Friday (repeated Sunday morning at 7 a.m.)

Freakonomics Radio is an award-winning podcast and public-radio project hosted by Stephen Dubner, with co-author Steve Levitt as a regular guest. It is produced in partnership with WNYC. Freakonomics Radio is one of the most popular podcasts in the world, with more than 5 million downloads per month.   Freakonomics began when New York journalist and author Stephen J. Dubner went to Chicago to write about award-winning economist Steven D. Levitt for The New York Times Magazine. Dubner had been reluctant to take the assignment (he was in the middle of writing a book about the psychology of money). Levitt was reluctant to be shadowed by a journalist (but his mother loved the Times Magazine, so he gave in). The article came out, and led to an unexpected partnership. Levitt and Dubner wrote Freakonomics, a book about cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing Realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys. They figured it would sell about 80 copies. Instead, it took up long-term residency on the Times best-seller list, and went on to sell more than 5 million copies in 40 languages.