Fish-out-of-water dramedy Lilyhammer is closing in on a greenlight for a third season. I understand that Norwegian broadcaster NRK is in the final stages of negotiations with producer Rubicon TV in a scenario that would see Netflix remain the U.S. broadcaster, with Red Arrow as the international distributor. I’m cautioned that nothing is confirmed, but Netflix, which was partnered on the first two series, has a deal in place for additional seasons. If S3 goes ahead, it is expected it would run on the streaming service in the U.S. Lilyhammer stars Sopranos alum Steven van Zandt as Frank Tagliano, a mob fixer exiled to Norway in a witness protection program. It was Netflix’s first original series and debuted in the States in February 2012. When it started in Norway in January that year, it had the best ratings for a Norwegian made drama series ever. The second season kicked off in October in Norway and hits Netflix next week on December 13th. The Norwegian Film Institute, which is contributing funding to S3, lists the project with S1 and S2 lead writer Eilif Skodvin penning the third season alongside others. Producer is Anders Tangen. According to the NFI, the budget for the eight-part third season is $19.5M, which would be a record for Norway. Other popular dramas have come in at about half that, per NRK. (For those keeping score, NRK2′s 13-hour Slow TV phenom National Knitting Evening was a bargain at $200,000.) Here’s a Season 2 Lilyhammer trailer (salty language included, so turn down those speakers):
Lilyhammer ushered in original series on Netflix as the acquired Norwegian show became the first original drama offered on the streaming service when it bowed on February 6, 2012. A lot has happened since then, with …
Lilyhammer‘s second season is currently filming in Oslo and Lillehammer, with star and exec producer Steven van Zandt on hand after taking a break from his touring schedule with Bruce Springsteen. For its second outing, the fish-out-of-water dramedy has added Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones), Erik Madsen (Da Vinci’s Demons), Amy Beth Hayes (Mr Selfridge) and Jakob Oftebro (from foreign-language film Oscar nominee Kon-Tiki). Lilyhammer was a hit when it premiered in Norway in January 2012, drawing record numbers for NRK1, and it was the first original series to launch on Netflix when it bowed via the streaming service in the U.S., Canada and Latin America in February. Season 2 sees van Zandt’s mob fixer Frank Tagliano still in witness protection and juggling fatherhood with running his criminal operation. Added to the mix this season are a group of English soccer hooligans, a bank robbery that threatens to reveal Frank’s identity, and a bloodthirsty new female sheriff.
Netflix’s first original series, the acquired Norwegian fish-out-of-water dramedy Lilyhammer starring The Sopranos alum Steven Van Zandt, launched yesterday. How did it do? We may never know as the video streaming is refusing to disclose figures. In a memo, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos explains why. While instant viewing is less and less important for most TV networks, especially premium cable ones which, like Netflix, doesn’t rely on commercials, I still think that Netflix should provide cumulative streaming data over time, especially as it paints itself as a viable alternative to pay cable. As for the future of Lilyhammer, it probably doesn’t depend on its performance on Netflix as it launched big in its homeland and reportedly has Netfix already on board to co-produce a second season. Here is Sarandos’ memo:
Many of you have asked us to disclose day-after viewership numbers for our new original series “Lilyhammer,” which Netflix members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America could watch instantly beginning yesterday. Let me explain why we won’t.
Netflix today announced the February 6 debut of the eight first-season episodes of Lilyhammer featuring The Sopranos‘ Steve Van Zandt as a mobster hiding out in Norway. All eight episodes will be available so viewers can watch as many as they want. Netflix acquired the first season and upcoming eight-episode second season at MIPCOM last fall. You can watch the trailer for the series in the window that follows today’s announcement.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 3, 2012 — “Lilyhammer,” a gripping fish-out-of-water story set in Norway and starring “The Sopranos” mainstay and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, is a new Original Series premiering on Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) to watch instantly on February 6, 2012 in the USA, Canada and Latin America.
“Lilyhammer,” follows New York mobster Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano as he enters the federal witness protection program after ratting on his boss. A sports fan, Frank wants to make his new life in Lillehammer, the Norwegian town that hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics – or as he calls it “Lilyhammer.” Frank has visions of a paradise of “clean air, fresh white snow and gorgeous broads” far away from the temptations of the Big Apple and from mob hit men. Reality, of course, turns out to be spectacularly different.
All eight first season episodes of “Lilyhammer” will be available on February 6 so Netflix members can enjoy the series by streaming over the Internet to connected TVs, tablets, game consoles, computers and mobile phones.
UPDATE: Miramax’s Mike Lang and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Talk Shop; Netflix Adds ‘Lilyhammer’ To TV Lineup
MIPCOM UPDATE: The video of Miramax CEO Mike Lang’s keynote at the Media Mastermind kickoff today is below, including his chat with Neflix’s Ted Sarandos. The two companies have recently partnered up on the digital side, and the studio is in town to drum up worldwide sales for its content in both film and TV.
PREVIOUS: Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, announced in Cannes this afternoon that Netflix is adding Norwegian-produced TV show Lilyhammer to its original programming lineup. Stevie Van Zandt — who so memorably played mob consigliore Silvio Dante in The Sopranos — plays a Mafioso who testified against his former boss in New York and winds up relocated to the Norwegian countryside as part of the Witness Protection Program. Lilyhammer will premiere on Netflix in early 2012, with Netflix acquiring the 8 episodes from the show’s first season as well as the upcoming 8-episode second season. Sarandos, who was being interviewed by Miramax CEO Mike Lang, said that 60% of viewing on Netflix’s newly separated streaming business is for TV episodes, with Mad Men and Breaking Bad being most popular. Deadline understands that Netflix, which is on the hunt for original programming, has also had talks about reviving Arrested Development with 20th Century Fox TV. Netflix surprised Hollywood in March by outbidding major TV networks for the rights to the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey drama House Of Cards.
Lang, meanwhile, said that Miramax is talking to potential partners around the world about the distributor having its own cable network showing the 700 movies in its archives. Miramax signed a long-term deal for its content with Netflix in May, and is partnering with Facebook to launch Miramax Experience, an app that will allow users worldwide to watch its movies. Lang was keen to talk up how Miramax is reinventing itself as an anytime, anywhere distributor. “In a way I’d like to believe our company is a bit more Silicon Valley than Hollywood in that respect,” he said.