Solid 2015 Start For NRK And DR’s New Flagship Series

Two of Scandinavia’s most anticipated new long-running TV series – the Norwegian WW2 drama The Heavy Water War (6×45’) and season two of the Danish hit show The Legacy (7×45’) had very strong national premieres, gathering respectively 1.26 million viewers on NRK1 last Sunday and 1.58 million viewers on DR1, January 1st.

The Heavy Water War (pictured Kampen om tungvannet) which is the first TV series produced by Norway’s leading production outfit Filmkameratene, had one of the best openings ever for a Norwegian TV drama on NRK and a record 62.5% share, a highly satisfying result for NRK commissioning editor Tone C. Rønning. “We have had great feedback that it was well spent money,” said Rønning to nrk.no. “People say the series looks like it cost NOK150 million, not NOK 75 million.”

The Heavy Water War centres on the Nazis’ efforts to develop an atom bomb and the Allies’ desperate struggle to prevent it from happening. The series supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond was written by Petter Rosenlund and directed by Per-Olav Sørensen. Previous NRK series that had strong openings include Sørensen’s other period piece The Half Brother (over 1 million viewers) andMammon (966,0000).

The Legacy season two had a slightly lower premiere than season one that aired a year earlier (1.7 million viewers) and a share also down from 61% to 55%, but the first of seven new episodes stayed within the range of returning seasons of other flagship TV dramas produced by DR, such as the last season of Borgen, watched on average by 1.47 million Danes. The local press praised in particular the stellar cast consisting of Trine Dyrholm, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Carsten Bjørnlund, Marie Bach Hansen and Jesper Christensen.

The Legacy season two is also available in Norway since Monday. Several other foreign territories will follow such as Brazil, New Zealand, Benelux, the UK and French/German ARTE. DR Sales handles world sales.

The Heavy War Water has also been sold by SF International to several key territories such as the US (MHZ Networks), Benelux (Lumière), Spain (A Contracorriente), Poland (Kinoswiat), and Ex-Yugo excluding Slovenia (Star Media).

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.