• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Little Steven show axed over product placements

NTB/The Local · 20 Dec 2011, 17:50

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

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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway kids and parents tell each other to log off
Parents and kids accuse each other of spending too much time online. Photos: Jan Haas and Frank May / NTB scanpix

Norwegian parents are critical of the amount of time their children spend online but their children feel the exact same way about them.

Norway firm opens office in Minecraft
The Oslo firm set up their island office on Norway's biggest Minecraft server. Screenshot: Heisholt Inc

The company behind the world's first ever live Minecraft concert has now set up shop within the popular gaming platform.

79-year-old Norwegian lands plane with no propeller
Garstad's propeller (left) was found after his crash landing at Sola (right). Photos: Arnstein Løvbrekke/NTB Scanpix and Florian Pépellin/WikiCommons

The veteran pilot said the air traffic controllers were "more flustered than me” when he told them he was coming in for a crash landing.

Norway oil investments set to drop again in 2017
After 15 years of solid growth boosted by rising oil and gas prices, the Norwegian economy has rapidly slumped. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Oil investments, one of the main drivers of Norway's economy, are expected to fall for a third straight year.

App-surd! Norwegians read app terms for 32 hours
The Norwegian consumer protection agency staged the readathon as part of its #appfail campaign. Photo: Forbrukerrådet

In a live-streamed 'readathon' Norway consumers read the "very bad" terms and conditions of popular smartphone apps.

Norway firm to buy portion of Finland defence company
Patria specializes in armoured vehicles. Photo: Patria

A portion of Finnish state-owned defence manufacturer Patria will be privatized through a sell to Kongsberg, a partially state-owned defence company in Norway.

'Historic': McDonald's agrees to contain Arctic cod fishing
The McDonald's on Nedre Slottsgate in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

For the first time ever, major players in the seafood industry have voluntarily imposed limitations on industrial fishing in the Arctic.

Norwegian ship rescues over 1,000 refugees
Kripos said that the ship had never before brought so many people on board. Photo: Kripos/Scanpix

The Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot on Wednesday came to the aid of more than 1,000 people off the coast of Libya.

Shareholders at Norway's Opera accept Chinese bid
Opera's Oslo offices. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Deal for the world's fight-biggest internet browser will now need US and Chinese approval.

Ryanair departure will doom Norway airport
Passengers depart a Ryanair flight at Moss Airport Rygge. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

The board of directors at Moss Airport Rygge will shut down the airport's commercial operations if Irish carrier Ryanair makes good on its threats to abandon its base there.

Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
National
Oslo is the real ‘Capital of Scandinavia’
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
2,065
jobs available