BBC Four picks up Lilyhammer

BBC FourBBC Four has acquired the rights to Norwegian drama Lilyhammer. The news comes after yesterday’s announcement it would air the second series of Danish drama Borgen.

Stevie Van Zandt (The Soprano’s) stars as New York mobster Frank ‘The Fixer’ Tagliano. After testifying against his Mafia boss, Frank enters the Witness Protection Programme and makes an unusual demand: he asks to be set up with his new life in the sleepy Norwegian town Lillehammer, which he fell in love with while watching the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. Thrust into a town that has little crime but a very colourful group of inhabitants, Frank has to confront a totally alien lifestyle.

This new eight-part series set records when it launched in Norway last month, achieving the highest ratings ever for a drama premiere on NRK (Norway’s public broadcaster).

“Lilyhammer mixes sharp wit and American big city ways with the beauty of the Norwegian mountains and folksy nature of a small town – a perfect combination for a razor-sharp drama about cultural mores. I am delighted the BBC Four has acquired this drama and I am sure our viewers are going to have a good time!” – Richard Klein, Controller BBC Four

“Lilyhammer is fresh, funny and offbeat – it makes a highly original addition to BBC Four’s rich Scandinavian drama slate.” – Sue Deeks, BBC’s Head of Programme Acquisition

“Wow! What a series! First the sale to Netflix and the outstanding launch in Norway – scoring an all-time high for a Norwegian drama series – and now to top it all off it will be airing on the BBC! It’s amazing how this series generated so much buzz so quickly. This demonstrates Lilyhammer’s quality and the appeal of the show’s terrific lead Stevie Van Zandt.” – Henrik Pabst, Director of International Format Acquisition and Regional Sales Director Scandinavia, Benelux, UK

Lilyhammer is produced by Norwegian production company Rubicon in association with SevenOne International. Directed by Simen Alsvik, Geir Henning Hopland, Lisa Marie Gamlem.  Starring Steven Van Zandt, Marian Saastad Ottesen, Trond Fausa Aurvåg, Kyrre Hellum, Sven Nordin, Anne Krigsvoll, Steinar Sagen. 8 x 45 episodes will feature English subtitles.