Norwegian ‘slow TV’ show suspended… because animals moved too slowly

A Norwegian TV show following the progress of migratory reindeer – part of the popular new ‘slow TV’ genre in the Scandinavian country – has been temporarily cancelled after the animals stopped moving.

Norwegian 'slow TV' show suspended... because animals moved too slowly
File photo: Heiko Junge/NTB scanpix

The broadcast was stopped ahead of schedule Monday, reports newspaper Aftenposten.

Previous ‘slow TV’ shows include a live broadcast of the train journey from Bergen to Oslo and transmission of the 134-hour voyage of the 'Hurtigruten' (Fast Route) ferry making its way through the fjords.

But the most recent addition to the genre broadcast by Norwegian station NRK, minute-by-minute coverage of reindeers migrating from their winter home on the Finnmark plains to summer grazing areas on the island of Kvaløya, has not quite had the expected finale.

Over a million viewers have watched the hundreds of reindeer moving through the snowy landscape.

But the meditative transmission will now be put on hold, reports Aftenposten.

The decision was taken after the 31-strong production crew found no trace of movement by the animals on Friday afternoon, meaning filming was put on hold until Monday.

The animals are still some way from what NRK hoped would be the finale to the broadcast – the swim from the mainland to Kvaløya – initially planned for broadcast on Friday April 28th, having started later and taken a longer route for their migration, reports Aftenposten.

Transmission has therefore been put on hold until further notice out of consideration for the working conditions of the crew, according to NRK.

“It is first and foremost a matter of time. We have stretched the elastic as much as we can with regards to our staff. We cannot get a replacement team so far out in to the wild,” producer Ole Rune Hætta told Aftenposten.

READ ALSO: Reindeer police stop Norwegian far north from going Wild West

Hætta assured that the swim over the strait to the island would be broadcast once the animals reached the end of their migration – but could not give a definite prediction of when that might be.

It might happen on Thursday, Friday or Saturday,” Hætta told NRK Sàpmi.

Previous days’ episodes of the slow TV show can be enjoyed on NRK’s website in the meantime. 


Norway’s highest mountain to get ‘slow TV’ treatment

They’ve done a railway journey, a ferry trip, and the reindeer migration. They’ve burnt a fire and knitted a sweater in real time. Now NRK is giving the 'slow TV' treatment to Norway's highest mountain.

Norway's highest mountain to get 'slow TV' treatment
Although Galdhøpiggen is Norway's highest mountain it is not that difficult to climb. Photo: Atvelonis/Wikimedia Commons
On Thursday, a team from the broadcaster’s Lillehammer office will climb the Galdhøpiggen mountain along with a group of enthusiastic volunteers, broadcasting every minute of the seven-hour journey in real time. 
“There have been many minute-by-minute productions in recent years, and the tour with [adventurer Lars] Monsen came out just this summer,” said Ivar Arne Nordrum, the project leader for the project. 
He said he had been inspired by last year's programme following a group walking the nearby Besseggen ridge. 
Viewers in his Hedmark and Oppland district had, he said, a special relationship with Galdhøpiggen, which is Norway’s highest mountain at 2469m. 
“Many have been there, and even more would like to get there,” he said. “Now you’ll have the possibility to follow the journey on your screen wherever you are in the world.” 
Although the mountain is Norway’s highest, the climb is not particularly long or difficult, and two groups of schoolchildren are also taking part. 
The broadcast will start at 9.30am and go out both online on and on the NRK2 channel. 
NRK has pioneered the concept of slow TV ever since producers Rune Møklebust and Thomas Hellum in 2009 put cameras on the front of a train travelling the entire journey from Oslo to Bergen, and then broadcast the journey in real time.