Steven Van Zandt Psyched About His New Show's Success In Norway
Rocker Steven Van Zandt has been left shocked and stunned by his new TV success in Norway - almost half the country is watching his new show "Lilyhammer."
More than one million locals tuned in to watch the debut of the drama, about an FBI informer hiding from the Mafia in Scandinavia, last month, and the ratings keep going up, making the series the biggest ever for Norwegian public broadcaster NRK1.
And Bruce Springsteen's sidekick, who starred in "The Sopranos," can't quite wrap his head around the success.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "The first week, it blew everybody's mind - biggest viewership in history. And everybody, including me, thought, 'Well, it's probably just a curiosity. We have a lot of fans from the E Street Band, and we do have a lot of fans from the old Sopranos. It must be a curiosity factor.'
"But, in the second week, the average increased another five or 10 per cent. Then, in the third week... it increased another five to 10 per cent. So something really weird is going on over there. I'm hearing nothing but positive things."
Producers and executives at online DVD library Netflix, who have snapped up the U.S. distribution rights for the show, are keen to film a second season, but Van Zandt fears his rock career will get in the way.
He adds, "There's discussions about it. Netflix wants it. But I've got this other little logistical problem called the Bruce Springsteen tour. I gotta see how the hell I can do this. If we wait until the end of the tour to film it, we're talking 2014 for season two. And that seems a bit long to wait.
"I'm gonna try and figure this out. We have to first determine whether America really likes it or not. We'll go from there."
Netflix will stream all eight episodes of the first season later this month.