'Lilyhammer' set for Netflix release

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Photo: Rubicon TV
08:58 CET+01:00
Online film and television show titan Netflix will make its original programming debut in February with "Lilyhammer," a "fish-out-of-water story" about a New York mobster starting anew in Norway.

Steven Van Zandt, a guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, stars as Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, who enters a federal witness protection program after giving authorities information about his boss, according to Netflix.

"I am very careful with my choices and this project was so exciting to me because of the wonderful writing, the rich characters and the fascinating culture of Norway," Van Zandt said in a release.

"Netflix is the perfect home for such a unique show," he added.

The first episode of the show, which is set in Lillehammer, Norway, will be available for streaming online beginning February 6th by Netflix subscribers in Canada, Latin America, and the United States.

"A sports fan, Frank wants to make his new life in Lillehammer, the Norwegian town that hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics, or as he calls it 'Lilyhammer,'" Netflix said.

"Frank has visions of a paradise of 'clean air, fresh white snow and gorgeous broads' far away from the temptations of the Big Apple and from mob hit men," the California-based firm continued.

Events in the show, of course, turn out to be spectacularly different, Netflix promised.

Sixty-one-year-old Van Zandt, whose birth name was Steve Lento, became a self-made actor by playing the right-hand man to the lead character in blockbuster HBO television series "The Sopranos."

Van Zandt joined "The Sopranos" in 1999 as Silvio Dante, a strip club owner and key adviser to the series' New Jersey-based Mafia boss.

The Sopranos became a US pop culture hit during a six-season run that ended in June of 2007.

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Norway's national broadcaster NRK had planned to air the first episode of Lilyhammer on New Year’s Day, but decided to pull the plug on the show indefinitely after discovering that production company Rubicon TV had signed a string of forbidden product placement deals.

NRK and Rubicon on Tuesday resumed talks aimed at finding a resolution to the dispute.

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