January 3, 2012 / 6:50 PM / 6 years ago

Netflix locks release date for mobster series "Lilyhammer"

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Netflix is no longer hunting down a release date for “Lilyhammer,” its new original series starring Steven Van Zandt as a mobster in witness protection. The first eight episodes of the comedy-drama’s first season will be available for online streaming in the U.S., Canada and Latin America starting February 6.

Netflix had said it was planning a first-quarter rollout for the show, in which the E Street Band guitarist plays a mobster reminiscent of his “Sopranos” character, Silvio Dante.

The one-hour show -- which is set in Lillehammer, Norway, where New York transplant Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano tries to make a new life for himself -- was developed by and is a production of Norway’s Rubicon TV AS. “Lilyhammer” will also air on Norwegian TV, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos recently told TheWrap.

“It’s a very quirky, funny, serious show that I think people are really going to love,” he said. “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.’ ”

“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,” Van Zandt, who is also executive producing the show, said in a statement. “Netflix is the perfect home for such a unique show.”

Among the other original series Netflix has planned is David Fincher’s “House of Cards,” due in the fourth quarter or early 2013. The company is also planning to relaunch “Arrested Development” next year.

“Lilyhammer” was created by Anne Bjornstad and Eilif Skodvin and developed by Rubicon TV AS. It was written by Bjornstad, Skodvin and Van Zandt.

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