Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation (NRK) has experienced a big success with the TV comedy-drama ‘Lillyhammer’ starring Steven van Zandt. In average, 1 million people have watched the series which represents about 20% of the total Norwegian population! U.S. Internet on-demand provider Netflix also tells that many viewers have fallen for the charming and somewhat bizarre story:
Van Zandt is a mafia underboss who, after surviving an assassination attempt by his new boss, decides to make a deal with the feds. His main stipulation is that he’s put into protective services outside the US, where it’s safe. After falling in love with the rural Norwegian town during the 1994 Winter Olympics, Frank Tagliano, Van Zandt’s character, chooses Lillehammer (mispronouncing it Lillyhammer, hence the show’s title).
The series was produced for Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation NRK in association with SevenOne International. The original date for the Norwegian world premiere was postponed due to national regulations that forbid the state owned TV channel NRK to show commercials and product placement. ‘Lillyhammer’ therefore had to be re-cut.
Steven van Zandt told his prominent gests during the New York premiere that ’the total Lillyhammer-budget is smaller than an average U.S TV series catering budget..’. The production company Rubicon has every reason to be extremely satisfied with the final result!
Steven van Zandt has told Norwegian media that he is optimistic when it comes to producing more seasons of ‘Lillyhammer’.
Text by: Thor Bugge Lanesskog, Thor News