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Norway's 'slow TV' - now it's live knitting

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When producers at Norway's public broadcaster NRK dreamt up filming the seven hour Bergen to Oslo train journey and broadcasting it in real time back in 2009, they had no idea they'd be starting a movement – the now hugely successful ‘slow TV' concept.

“We all laughed at the idea to begin with, and agreed it was like something you'd come up with towards the end of a long party. And ideas dreamt up at that stage rarely survive the light of day. But this one did,” Rune Møklebust, one of the show's main producers told Deutsche Welle.

The broadcast was a huge success with massive viewing figures, and spurred a range of similar ‘slow TV' concepts - the latest of which is a 12 hour broadcast all about knitting this week.

I'm bored just thinking about it. 12 hours of knitting?!

Streaming here:    :)

It's like watching Bob Ross paint happy little trees.

Popular beyond compare

The train journey broadcast started airing during prime time on a Friday night on NRK2 - the smaller cousin of NRK1 - in direct competition with commercial hits like The X-Factor on other channels.

“We got more feedback on Twitter and Facebook than we had ever had during any other TV show. We sensed there was an incredible amount of people who were actually watching this,” says Møklebust.

The producers were right. NRK2‘s usual 4% market share skyrocketed to include 15% of Norway's viewers. The next big slow TV moment, a 134 hour epic following Norway's cruise liner ‘Hurtigruten' on its journey along the entire coastline, saw three million people tune in. That is incomparable in TV history in a country with a population of five million.

Reflection of mountains in Lovatnet, Loen, Stryn, Sogn og Fjordane. Nordfjord. Lake resembling a fjord. Glacier National Park. National Romance. Autumn. Fresh snow on the mountain tops. Photo: Bård Løken / NN / Samfoto / NTB scanpix

There are only 5 million people in the whole country?! I think there have been more Florida Man arrests.

5M ppl, almost $1T in the bank from oil revenues and several Trillion $ more in the ground.  The pension alone is why my boss hasn't gotten US Citizenship yet.

Are they accepting transfers of citizenship from America? I suddenly want to naturalize as Norwegian...

Excellent healthcare, too.  I hear there's a nine year path to Norwegian citizenship.  Everyone wants in.

Nine years seems like a small price to pay to get into heaven.

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