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Slow TV – Making waves beyond Norway

3.2 million Norwegians watched part of the coastal ship journey between Berken to Kirkenes.

Have you heard of slow TV?

Norway has. It has seemingly invented the genre.

In this time of year-ends, catching your breath after a hectic year, this might well be what the doctor ordered.

What is it? Pretty much anything slow, that takes a long time. For example, a recent show lasted 8,040 minutes, the time it takes for the coastal ship Hurtigruten to go from Bergen to Kirkenes, almost 3,000 kilometers.

Another show? Seven hours of simple footage, a train rolling down the tracks.

Want one more? Executives at Norway’s National Broadcasting Service are now considering broadcasting a night of knitting nationwide.

You are reading this right. It goes beyond anything currently being produced for the small screen. No interactivity, no climax, no script, no drama.

Well that’s what you’d think at first, but in the end, it is all that.

Last August, Thomas Hellum, producer on many of these shows, did a great and funny TED talk about the genre. A must-watch if you are wondering the how’s and the why’s of slow TV.

 

He is broadcasting slow, boring events and discovering an engaged audience. How did that happen?