Norway has become world famous for its Slow TV. Now, reindeer will be starring in the next production from the public broadcaster, as it follows a reindeer herd’s migration from winter pastures to summer pastures.

Photo: Jim Tovås Kristensen / Statskog / Flickr
The reindeer herd will travel 130 km from Finnmarksvidda, Norway’s largest mountain plateau. Photo: Jim Tovås Kristensen / Statskog / Flickr

Norway has had a leading role in the peculiar minute-by-minute TV concept. Long train rides, 12 hrs in front of the fireplace and life in the salmon river, are some of the slow television programs aired in the past.

Down the mountain

More than a thousand reindeer are now next. They will set out on their annual 130-km long migration from winter pastures on Norway’s largest mountain plateau, Finnmarksvidda, to summer pastures on coastal island Kvaløya. All while the world is watching.

The public broadcaster NRK will follow the reindeer flock of Saami family Sara throughout a 24/7 live show, aided by drones and 3 camera teams in the field. NRK promises nothing but striking images.

Viewers will get continuous updates and reportages on the flock’s movement, along with the possibility to see the journey through the reindeer’s eyes, as the TV crew has attached a camera to one of the reindeer in the herd.

International success

Slow TV has attracted much attention, especially abroad. The concept has even been sold to the U.S. International TV station Al Jazeera called it “a new kind of reality TV show (…) There is no storyline. No script. No drama. No climax.”

“So wrong it’s right,” was the description in  TIME Magazine. NRK is certain that Slow TV has gained such high popularity because it leaves the audience with the feeling of being present in real time and space.

A whole week of reindeer

The reindeer matriarch decides when it’s time for the herd to begin migrating. While the flock awaits better weather conditions, NRK has had to postpone the broadcast which was scheduled for Friday 21 April. NRK hopes to start transmitting the incredible week-long event on Sunday 23 April at the earliest. Stay updated on the situation here.

“Reinflytting – minutt for minutt,” as the program is called in Norwegian, can be watched live 24/7 on NRK’s webcast — when the reindeer decide it’s time, that is.

Slow TV started back in 2009, when 1.2 million Norwegians watched a 7-hours-and-16-minutes long show about “Bergensbanen,” the beautiful train ride from Bergen to Oslo.

Another international hit was “Hurtigruten – minute by minute” in 2011, about the cruise ship’s voyage up the Norwegian coast, which drew 3.2 million viewers. “National Knitting Night” and “National Wood Night” from 2013 were also popular shows, attracting 1 million viewers each.