Well played, Norway. You can tune in now at the government-owned NRK3 channel for a parody net-cast of sourdough slowly rising (or maybe not rising at all). That’s literally the whole premise: stare at dough while the marquee yells cryptic things about a Mel Gibson memorial fund.
This ‘broadcast’ is obviously punking Norway’s slow TV fad (“Trondheim: the dough is rising more slowly than expected. Eivor, Kragero: Seems this was a bit boring”), but in recent years, Norwegian slow TV has had a stellar run.
Last month, 20 percent of Norway’s population tuned into NRK’s live broadcast of men chopping and burning firewood for hours, inciting an avalanche of hate mail about how they’re doing it all wrong (half the people wanted the bark to face up, half wanted it to face downward).
In 2009, 1.2 million Norwegians (about a quarter of the country) tuned in to watch a 7.5 hour train ride from Bergen to Oslo, which generated record zen vibes and TV ratings. You can download the whole show here.
And in 2011, half of the country tuned in to a 134 hour ship voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes, making it not only one of the most watched programs in Norwegian TV history, but the longest running TV episode in the world.