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article imageNetflix sets release date for new series 'Lilyhammer'

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 3, 2012 in Entertainment
Netflix has decided on a release date for its new original series, "Lilyhammer."
The series stars E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt and is a story about a mobster who enters the federal witness protection program after he "rats" on his boss.
According to The Wrap, the date has been set for Feb. 6 and will be available as of that date for online streaming in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Additionally, as the show is set in Norway, the new show will air on Norwegian TV, according to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
Reportedly Van Zandt's new role as 'Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano' is a "mobster reminiscent" of his HBO "Sopranos" character, Silvio Dante.
The life the Tagliano envisions doesn't exactly pan out the way he thought he would.
"Lilyhammer" is a well-observed, funny and occasionally brutal story of culture clash, focused on Stevie's inimitable portrayal of an East Coast mobster," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in a press release. "We're proud to introduce this terrific Original Series exclusively to our members. If you love the first episode, there is no need to wait until next week, or to set a DVR, to catch the next one."
Van Zandt said in the statement regarding the show, "I am very careful with my choices and this project was so exciting to me because of the wonderful writing, the rich characters and the fascinating culture of Norway," adding, "Netflix is the perfect home for such a unique show."
The musician/actor is also one of the executive producers of "Lilyhammer."
The new show was developed by Rubicon TV AS and writers include Anne Bjornstad and Eilif Skodvin; in addition to starring and producing, Van Zandt will contribute to writing the show as well.
"It's a very quirky, funny, serious show that I think people are really going to love," Sarandos said, reported The Wrap. "It's a really fun thing to watch, because it is a really familiar character in a totally unfamiliar place. It's 'Northern Exposure' meets 'Sopranos.' "
Netflix reportedly has plans for other original series to be released towards the end of 2012 or early 2013. It seems this strategy may be one Netflix initiates as it tries to recoup earlier losses and a projected non-profitable 2012. After a year that saw tumbling value and a mass exodus of customers in the third quarter, Netflix appears to be trying to reinvent itself as it struggles to recover from a rocky 2011.
Can the company make it beyond 2012? Will initiatives such as original programming or reviving other shows help the company recover?
Time will determine where the future lies for Netflix, but in the meantime, a trailer has been released for the new show.
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