• Norway's news in English
 

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

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’s Labour Party to recognise Palestine
Jonas Gahr Støre during the Labour Party's conference. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Norway’s Labour Party to recognise Palestine

Norway is likely to join its neighbour Sweden and recognise Palestine as an independent state if the Labour Party wins the next parliamentary elections, the party's leader said at its annual conference. READ  

Jailed Norway journalist freed in Yemen
Raymond Lidal in 2011. Photo: Private

Jailed Norway journalist freed in Yemen

A Norwegian journalist held in Yemen since late March has been released and is on his way home, the Norwegian foreign ministry said Friday. READ  

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport
A wolverine at Kristiansand zoo. Photo: Birgit Fostervold

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport

A wolverine in transit from a Norway zoo to Alaska gnawed through his cage at customs in Newark Airport and began growling at passers-by, winning it the moniker "psycho killer" in the US press. READ  

Video
Assad: 'most dangerous' Isis chiefs are Scandi
Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr/WikiCommons

Assad: 'most dangerous' Isis chiefs are Scandi

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has blamed Norway and other Scandinavian countries for producing "the most dangerous leaders of Isis in our region", in a video interview with Sweden's Expressen newspaper. READ  

MP reveals rape in viral twitter campaign
Laila Gustavsen on Karl Johans Gate during Norway's 2013 general election. Photo: Labour Party/Flickr

MP reveals rape in viral twitter campaign

An MP for Norway’s Labour Party has spoken out about being raped when she was 15 years old, as more and more prominent women join a national twitter campaign to raise awareness of sexual harassment and abuse. READ  

Video
Fancy a trip to Norway in 1973?
The apartment is decked out in full 1970s style. Photo: MNEF

Fancy a trip to Norway in 1973?

Feeling nostalgic about Norway in the 1970s? Why not put in a bid on this Oslo apartment, where nothing has changed since 1973. READ  

Timber! Beaver crushed by tree it was felling
The unlucky beaver trapped under a birch. Photo: Beate Strøm Johansen

Timber! Beaver crushed by tree it was felling

A beaver in Norway has been crushed to death after misjudging which way the tree it was gnawing down was going to fall. READ  

Earthworms rain from sky over Norway
The mystery worms spotted lying on the snow by Karstein Erstad on Sunday. Photo: Karstein Erstad

Earthworms rain from sky over Norway

Earthworms have been raining down from heaven over large areas of southern Norway, leaving biologists and meteorologists scratching their heads. READ  

Pippa Middleton slammed for whale meal
Pippa Middleton at the wedding of Lady Melissa Percy in 2013. Photo: MatthewSlack/Wikimedia Commons

Pippa Middleton slammed for whale meal

The socialite sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, the likely future Queen of England, has been criticised by animal rights groups after dining on “smoked whale carpaccio” while on a freebie press trip to Norway. READ  

Oil fund pressures BP and Shell on climate
A Shell station in the US. Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr

Oil fund pressures BP and Shell on climate

Norway’s oil fund has thrown its weight behind a shareholder campaign aimed at forcing oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell to detail plans to tackle climate change, in evidence of the fund’s increasingly activist approach to its $880bn in investments. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
As it happened: Denmark rocked by terror attack
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Sport
Real Madrid sign Norway prodigy Ødegaard
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

2,287
jobs available