26% Of Norwegians Watched the Last Episode Of Heavy Water War

Last Sunday evening the closing episode of the resistance drama The Heavy Water War, gathered 1,348,000 viewers and a share of 64.1%, representing a new record for the Norwegian pubcaster NRK.

Filmkameratene’s founder John Jacobsen, producer of the series told nordiskfilmogtvfond.com: “Basically nearly 26% of the Norwegian population sat on a sofa on Sunday evening to watch the last episode. This is not supposed to happen anymore…only in the 60s could a TV programme gather that many people.”

Meanwhile using the full multi-platform data, the drama’s premiere episode has now reached an audience of nearly 1.8 million and the series has more than doubled the sales of books about the Norwegian heavy water sabotage during WW2 to prevent Nazi Germany from developing the atomic bomb.

For Jacobsen, the success of the series comes down to the way the real life story is told, from a human perspective, focusing on the risks people took and the choices they made, with no good guys and bad guys. “We wanted to portray the Germans and Norwegians as ordinary people put in extraordinary situations. Destiny put them in difficult circumstances and they had to deal with it.”

The 6×45’ TV drama directed by Per-Olav Sørensen has also attracted a lot of attention internationally. Recent deals closed by SF International include Iceland (RUV) and RTV Slovenia, on top of previous sales to the US (MHZ Networks), Benelux (Lumiere), Spain (A Contracorriente), Poland (Kinoswiat) and ex-Yugoslavia (Stars Media).

In Scandinavia, the series supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond is set to air on TV2 Danmark for Easter in a three day block, from April 2-4, according to SF Head of International Sales Anita Simovic. SVT will air it most likely in August and YLE in November 2015.


From the Nordisk Film and TV Fund

CategoriesNorway Television
Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.