Must-See Reality TV in Norway: A 134-Hour Ferry Journey

Half the country tuned in

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2013 3:25 PM CDT | Updated Jun 22, 2013 7:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Norway's idea of reality television is a little different from America's, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hit shows in recent years include: the view from a camera mounted on top of a train on a 7-hour journey; 18 hours of salmon swimming upstream; a 30-hour nonstop interview with a local author; and a 134-hour live broadcast of a ferry traveling along the country's coastline. "Well, sure," you're thinking, "Stoners and old people probably love that stuff." Nope. Half of the country's population—that's 2.5 million Norwegians—tuned in for the ferry show, reports the Journal.

Why is excruciatingly slow-moving TV so popular? A Norwegian media professor says it offers an escape from "the crazy media world." One Olso resident who watched the 30-hour interview live says it's about taking it easy. "You can actually just stop life and sit in a chair for 30 hours talking, not just run around stressing, working, sleeping, eating, stressing, working, sleeping, eating," he says. Coming next to Norwegian screens, the Journal reports: A live knitting show. And before you judge, remember that millions of Americans regularly tune in to watch the Kardashians.

The Hurtigruten ship "Nordnorge." Live televised coverage of a midsummer cruise along Norway's picturesque coast of fjords and islands has become the most watched TV show in the Nordic country.   (AP Photo/Scanpix, Heiko Junge)
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