Starting today, Netflix members can check out Lilyhammer, which is the first original series available only on Netflix Instant. Lilyhammer features former Sopranos star and E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt in this fish-out-of-water dramedy. Van Zant is also a writer and producer for the show.
The show centers on a New York mobster, who after testifying against a mob boss, who enters witness protection and chooses Lillehammer, Norway. He chooses Lillehammer as his hiding place due to his love of the 1994 Lillehammer winter olympics. As one might expect, hijinks do ensue.
Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos announced the launch of Lillyhammer on the Netflix blog today, stating that this is the first of many “brand new, original and exclusive series to debut on Netflix.”
This show is different in many ways,”said Sarandos. “First of all, this is surely the most ambitious original show to premiere online in history. The presence of an American star like Van Zandt and the production quality and the length of the episodes position Lilyhammer in the class of programing usually only found on premium pay television.
The show is immediately available for American, Canadian and Latin American Netflix streaming customers, and has been airing in Norway for the past five weeks.
Unlike old school television shows, all eight episodes of the first season of Lillyhammer are available for immediate viewing. In an evolution on the on demand format, this unprecedented strategy allows customers to watch the season at their leisure. Lilyhammer wasn’t originally produced by Netflix, but they did purchase all rights to the series and they are producing a second season already.