Netflix Boss Celebrates 10 Years of Original Content With Praise for First Exclusive Series, Lilyhammer

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Netflix has released a blog post and short video interview, looking back on Lilyhammer on the tenth anniversary of the series’ original release. Lilyhammer, Netflix‘s first original series, starred Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and played the character of Silvio Dante in The Sopranos. In his recent biography, Van Zandt remembered his pitch meeting with Netflix chief Ted Sarandos as one of the best and most meaningful in his career, and so it’s only fair that in the video (which you can see below), it’s those two who are reminiscing about a time when Netflix had just the one original series.

The series starred Van Zandt as a former New York gangster named Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, who had relocated to Lillehammer, Norway to start a new life. Due to its setting, it featured cool visuals and gained attention because it featured scenes where characters would speak exclusively in subtitled Norweigan.

“Looking back, Lilyhammer was perhaps an unorthodox choice for our first show,” Sarandos wrote in the blog. “But it worked because it was a deeply local story that we could share with the world. The jokes and references worked locally and the more universal themes of the shows traveled perfectly.”

You can see the video below.

The series ran for three seasons between 2012 and 2014. Apparently, the only aspect that Van Zandt had to be sold on was Netflix’s binge model. Per Sarandos’s blog post:

The meeting was great and Stevie loved every idea, except one. When I told him that we would not be showing the episodes one per week, we would deliver the entire season all at once. That stopped him in his tracks. “You labor and suffer and someone can watch a year of your work in one night? That sounds a little weird,” he said. “It’s not weird,” I told him. “It’s just like working on an album.” He laughed and agreed.

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Hard to argue that Netflix wasn’t at least making an effort to speak his language.

You can still check out all three seasons of Lilyhammer on Netflix.

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