Slow TV coming to U.S.: What slow-moving things will we watch for hundreds of hours?

Norway’s Slow TV has been a hit since 2011: NRK’s program has shown hours of slow-moving live things via fixed cameras, such as a cruise ship navigating the coast (134 hours) or a fireplace burning (12 hours). Friday, 1.3 million people watched knitting for 12 hours.

Now, LMNO Productions has acquired the format for the United States. Its SVP of development, Lor Rothschild Ansaldi, said in a fake press release quote, “In a world where everything moves so fast, it was refreshing to find something so captivating that you did not want to look away from it. LMNO is constantly looking for very loud, distinctive formats and characters, and we believe we have found just that with the Slow TV concept.”

So what will the company behind “loud, distinctive formats” such as Fox’s The Littlest Groom and CBS’ Wickedly Perfect do with this format? What will we watch for hundreds of hours? I mean, besides the Big Brother live feeds.

Some ideas:

  • Six hours of a person in line at Chipotle trying to read the list of burritos they’re buying for their whole office or extended family
  • 12 hours of phantom traffic jams
  • One hour of waiting for that water on your crotch to dry so you can go out in public
  • 12 hours of waiting in line at the grocery store, mostly focusing on other lines that are moving faster or on the person trying to write a check who hasn’t learned that there are debit cards now
  • 168 hours of an elevator display showing the elevator visiting every other floor
  • 2400 seconds watching a microwave clock count down as it takes its sweet time to unevenly heat something you don’t really want to eat anyway
  • 8,760 hours of kittens sleeping

If you want to see what that kind of show actually looks like, but also watch in fast-forward, the video below condenses the cruise ship trip, Hurtigruten Minutt for Minutt, from 134 hours to 37 minutes.

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Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.