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COLOGNE, Germany – Steven Van Zandt’s follow up to Sopranos is a hit. At least in Norway. One million viewers – or one in five Norwegians – tuned in for the premiere of Lilyhammer, the Mafioso comedy starring Van Zandt as a New York mobster turned FBI informer who gets sent to rural Norway on the witness protection plan.
The 56.3 percent market share is the best ever for Norwegian public broadcaster NRK1 and the best-ever performance by a local drama series in the territory. Lilyhammer is produced by Norway’s Rubicon TV, who designed the series around Van Zandt, tailoring it to his wise-guy image honed from years playing Tony Soprano’s trusted Consigliere, Silvio Dante.
Netflix has rights for the series in North and Latin America and will stream all eight episodes of the first season starting Feb. 6. Netflix has also signed on to co-produce the show’s second season.
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