TODAY

TODAY   |  January 03, 2014

‘Slow TV’ is (slowly) coming to the US

A popular Norwegian reality-show concept called “Slow TV,” which features long hours of programming monitoring cruise ships, train rides and fishing, is making its way to the United States. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> with something interesting and different coming to a television near you. here is joe frier.

>> it was the smash hit of the summer.

>> reporter: this is as real as reality tv gets. a cruise ship voyage broadcast nonstop for 5 1/2 straight days. no script, zero drama and 3.2 million viewers. it's a surprising hit. a concept now sailing toward america thanks to eric shots and his production company lmno.

>> we bought a format from norway and it was the most unique, dumbest, most ridiculous idea i've ever seen and i said i have to have it.

>> it's an idea that eased on to norwegian tv screens in 2009 with a 7.5 hour program chronicling every second of a train ride. it drew 1.2 million viewers. it was so successful it spawned more slow shows. 18 hours of salmon fishing. an indepth special about firewood and most recently, knitting.

>> you laugh because it's knitting on television, but you would watch it just to see what it was.

>> reporter: but can slow tv possibly work in america ? land of loud, fast paced television?

>> i think americans are ready for anything. we watch golf on television. can anything be slower than watching golf on television?

>> reporter: americans did fall in lof with the u.k.'s downton abby.

>> i'll have a weekend.

>> what is a weekend.

>> compared to the conventional wisdom that american tv has to have something blow up or have sex every three seconds, these shows are different.

>> reporter: several networks expressed interest. the key now is finding ideas that will work here.

>> what makes them compelling is something you haven't seen before. if you haven't seen it before you might stop and look at it.

>> reporter: what will slow tv look like in america ? well, you'll have to be patient. consider it practice. for today, nbc news, los angeles .

>> los angeles .

>> meanwhile, golf took a shot.

>> how dare you.

>> outrage on the couch over that.

>> meantime, we want to tell you about something special we're working on. this is a yearlong initiative we're calling shine a light . the focus is on service and giving back to communities. each of us picked a project to work on this year that is near and dear to our hearts and we want you to be involved as well. tell us what you plan to do to pitch in in your community. you can do that on facebook and twitter with the