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BBC Four embraces slow TV

UK public service arts and culture channel BBC Four is embarking on a season of slow TV, the real-time TV phenomenon that was started by Norwegian pubcaster NRK.

The BBC Four slow TV season will comprise three voiceover-free slow series.

Three-part half-hour series Make will be produced in-house and follow traditional craftsman as they make objects including wooden chairs and steel knives.

The Canal will be a televised two-hour real-time trip down an iconic British waterway. UK indie Garden Productions will make the show, which will have ‘guidebook facts’ embedded using captions.

Three-hour offering National Gallery will be made by filmmaker Frederick Wiseman and go behind the scenes at the UK art gallery. There will not only be no voiceover, but no music or sound effects.

BBC Four goes Slow is another brilliant example of something only BBC Four would do. This surprising selection of programmes is the antithesis to the general direction much of television is going in,” said Cassian Harrison, channel editor of BBC Four.

He added: “Slowing everything right down gives us the time to really observe things as they happen and this series of programmes celebrates the simple pleasures of life in the slow lane.”

NRK continues to pioneer the slow TV genre with a recent multi-day screening of the singing of 800 hymns going out on NRK2.

A US deal is thought to be in the offing for a formatted version of NRK’s slow TV offerings after prodco LMNO optioning rights. DRG handles international slow TV sales for NRK.

NRK’s upcoming slow TV offerings include, TBI understands, a live broadcast following climbers ascending the Troll Wall mountain face. It is expected to take about 20 hours and scheduling is dependent upon weather conditions.