Norwegian format Slow TV set for US remake

MS Polarlys_Geirangerfjord.jpgUS producer LMNO has acquired Stateside remake rights to Slow TV, a format from Norway in which a ship’s journey along the coast was transmitted non-stop for 134 hours on the nation’s public broadcaster.

Slow TV first broadcast on NRK in 2011 to strong ratings and was subsequently acquired by UK-based sales house DRG as part of its first-look agreement with Norway’s pubcaster. The Slow concept is based on ‘marathon-viewing’, which sees journeys and events broadcast in full, often over tens or hundreds of hours.

DRG has now sold on the rights to LMNO, the producer behind CBS’s I Get That a Lot and TLC’s The Little Couple. LMNO said it will “put its own spin” on the culture-themed format.

Andrea Jackson, managing director, acquisitions and formats, DRG, who brokered the deal said Slow TV was “for a broadcaster that wants to do something totally different in a headline-grabbing way”.

“In a world that gets ever faster – Slow TV hypnotises viewers, its compulsive viewing demonstrated by the record-breaking ratings on NRK. We can’t wait to see the twist that LMNO will bring to the format for US viewers,” she added.

Ole Hedemann, NRK’s head of format development, added: “First we saw a seven hour train ride, then a five day live cruise, 18 hours of live salmon fishing and after that 12 hours of live wood burning. Now, this autumn we are about to show live knitting.

Slow TV is a brave idea. The concept behind it is unique and hypnotic, and it has a way of mesmerising viewers. After its massive success in Norway, we are really excited to see LMNO Productions remake a US version.”

The news comes soon after DRG sold another NRK format, scripted drama Mammon, to 20th Century Fox Television ahead of its Norwegian debut.