• Norway edition
 
Little Steven show axed over product placements
Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/Scanpix (File)

Little Steven show axed over product placements

Published: 20 Dec 2011 15:22 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Dec 2011 17:50 GMT+01:00

National broadcaster NRK has pulled the plug on a new comedy drama series starring legendary guitarist Little Steven after it emerged that the show could feature forbidden product placements.

NRK had planned to air the first episode of Lilyhammer on New Year’s Day, but has now decided to postpone the show indefinitely after discovering that production company Rubicon TV had signed a string of product placement deals.

The broadcaster said it had little choice but to put the show on ice, since state-owned television channels are barred from taking payment for the placement of products in any programmes made in Norway.

“Rubicon TV has entered into a series of agreements with companies and organizations, promising product placements in exchange for goods, services, and cash. This is a breach of the contract between NRK and Rubicon TV,” said Petter Wallace, Head of Commissioning at NRK.

“External producers are permitted to enter into sponsorship agreements, but not product placement agreements,” he added.

Rubicon TV’s administrative director, Lasse Hellberg, said the company was engaged in positive talks with NRK. He denied the firm had sold product placement slots to make money.

“There are some unfortunate formulations in some of the contracts, and that’s something we’ll resolve,” he said.

Hellberg said he did not think it would be necessary to cut any scenes from the series in order to satisfy national broadcasting criteria.

“It’s all based on an artistic foundation and has not been affected by commercial interests. For example, we went all the way to the United States to buy clothes, so there’s been no expense spared.”

The long-awaited eight-part series was set to feature Steven Van Zandt -- or Little Steven -- playing a New York gangster forced into hiding in Lillehammer after his appearance as a witness in a US trial.

The musician and actor, celebrated for his portrayal of the Silvio Dante character in The Sopranos, had been billed as the star attraction in a comedy action series set in the sleepy town, most famous for having hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics.    

And as the guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Van Zandt is no stranger to Norway, where The Boss and his band remain hugely popular.

The US actor said he liked the script and had no hesitation in accepting the role, which sees him struggle to adapt to life as an unemployed immigrant in Lillehammer.

Speaking to NRK before the decision to put the series on hold, the show’s scriptwriters said Lilyhammer would seek to show Norway from an immigrant’s perspective. Cut adrift from his natural habitat, the former New York Mafioso finds himself caught up in ever more absurd and embarrassing situations when faced with Norwegian bureaucracy and local attitudes. 

NTB/The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Feature
Feature: Norway's Dalai Lama dilemma
The Dalai Lama visiting Oslo in 2005. Photo: Håkon Mosvsvold Larsen/Scanpix

Feature: Norway's Dalai Lama dilemma

A planned visit by the Dalai Lama has Oslo torn between its will to warm up frozen ties with China and warnings from the public not to compromise its stance on human rights, writes AFP's Pierre-Henry Deshayes. READ () »

'Some rapes less bad than others': psychiatrist
Abused girl File photo: Shutterstock

'Some rapes less bad than others': psychiatrist

A psychiatrist in Norway has called for rape to be divided into different categories, with some -- such as when a man penetrates a woman he has gone to bed with while she is sleeping -- classed as less serious. READ () »

Sri Lanka demands arrest of suspected Tamil Tiger
Panchakulasingam Kandiah, leader of Norway's National Council of Eelam Tamils, kneeling in front of a tombstone set up outside Norway's to symbolise the killing of Tamils ​​in Sri Lanka. Photo: Heiko

Sri Lanka demands arrest of suspected Tamil Tiger

Sri Lanka's government has sent out an alert demanding that Norway's government arrest Perinpanayagam Sivaparan, an Oslo-based Tamil, claiming that he is the new leader of the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). READ () »

Norway Conservative jailed for nude pic theft
Tor Johannes Helleland. Photo: Drammen Municipality

Norway Conservative jailed for nude pic theft

A former Conservative party politician who stole nude pictures from the iCloud accounts of several girls he knew and posted them on the internet has been sentenced to 60 days in prison. READ () »

Oslo mulled scrapping Trafalgar Christmas tree
The Trafalgar Square tree on Christmas morning in 2011. Photo: Kevan Davis/Flickr

Oslo mulled scrapping Trafalgar Christmas tree

Oslo bureaucrats this year proposed ending a nearly 60-year-old tradition of sending a Christmas tree to Trafalgar Square in London before their suggestion was rejected outright by the city's mayor Fabian Stang. READ () »

City bike bidders asked to scrap 1,300 bikes
City bikes in central Oslo. Photo: Clear Channel Norway

City bike bidders asked to scrap 1,300 bikes

Oslo's new city bike tender will require the winning bidder to scrap the city's existing 1,300 bikes and replace the 300 shelters where they're kept, leaving the leading bidders puzzled. READ () »

Kjos fills nine out of ten Dreamliner seats
One of the Asian crews on one of Norwegian Air Shuttles' new Dreamliner Aircraft. Photo: Norwegian

Kjos fills nine out of ten Dreamliner seats

Norwegian Air Shuttle last year filled nine out of ten seats on its new long-haul routes to the US And Thailand, despite the highly publicised delays faced by its new Dreamliner aircraft. READ () »

Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK
A demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in Oslo in 2010 against the detention of Liu Xiaobo. Photo: Greg Rødland Buick/Amnesty International|Flickr

Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK

China has begun secret negotiations with Norway over ending the diplomatic freeze triggered by the award of the Nobel Peace Price to a leading Chinese dissident four years ago, NRK has reported. READ () »

Nazis and anti-racists threaten 'Congo village'
A screen grab from footage from the 1914 centennial celebrations of Norway's constitution. Photo: YouTube

Nazis and anti-racists threaten 'Congo village'

With both neo-Nazis and anti-racists apparently threatening to burn down his planned recreation of a 1914 Oslo 'human zoo', the Norwegian-Sudanese artist Mohamed Ali Fadlabi is now more convinced than ever of his idea. READ () »

Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub
The ceremonial cutting of a Christmas tree intended for London in 2009. Photo: Oslo City Council

Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub

A proposal from Oslo's mayor to stop sending an annual Christmas tree to Reykjavik has sparked a furious reaction from Icelanders, many of whom have interpreted the move as a calculated snub. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub
Tech
VIDEO: Norway's incredible rolling robot
National
Norway teen has lived in cave for a year
National
Hikers to wear green hats if 'open to romance'
National
Norway PM backs gay church weddings
National
Badger gets stuck in car grille and survives
National
Man at recycling plant finds $16,000 in old safe
Culture
Norway celebs plan own funerals in new show
National
Norway man finds adult toy in cod's stomach
International
McCain to vote down would-be envoy
Education
Oslo to get first Muslim primary school
Culture
VIDEO: Norway fans in second Sherlock skit
Advertisement:
Culture
Clooney to film North Sea divers movie
Society
VIDEO: Norway police's chilled way with drunk wows US
Education
VIDEO: Norway skydiver dodges meteorite
National
Oslo shortlisted for Green Capital 2016
International
Work to start on world's tallest wooden house
Culture
NRK boss: Slow TV 'difficult to joke with'
International
Stoltenberg named as next Nato boss
Society
'Silly walk' sign enrages roads agency
Norwegian tattoos McDonald's bill on arm
Sport
Norwegian man 'forgets' luxury boat for two years
Society
VIDEO: Oslo transformed into miniature city
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

321
jobs available