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Lilyhammer logo

Lilyhammer poster
Genre Comedy-drama
Crime drama
Created by Anne Bjørnstad
Eilif Skodvin
Written by Anne Bjørnstad
Eilif Skodvin
Steven Van Zandt
Directed by Simen Alsvik
Geir Henning Hopland
Lisa Marie Gamlem
Starring Steven Van Zandt
Trond Fausa Aurvåg
Marian Saastad Ottesen
Sven Nordin
Kyrre Hellum
Anne Krigsvoll
Composer(s) Frans Bak[1]
Country of origin Norway
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 16 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Steven Van Zandt
Lasse Hallberg
Producer(s) Agnete Thuland
Trond Berg-Nilsen
Location(s) Lillehammer
New York
Cinematography Johan-Fredrik Bødtker
Jakob Ingimundarson
Running time 46 minutes
Production company(s) Rubicon Tv AS
Netflix (Season 2)
Distributor NRK (Norway)
Netflix (United States)
Red Arrow International
Original channel NRK1
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
First shown in Norway
Original run 25 January 2012 (2012-01-25) – present
External links
SevenOne Lilyhammer Website

Lilyhammer is a Norwegian television series, starring Steven Van Zandt, about a fictional New York gangster, Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, trying to start a new life in isolated Lillehammer in Norway. The first season premiered on Norwegian NRK1 on 25 January 2012[2] with a record audience of 998,000 viewers (one fifth of Norway's population),[3][4] and premiered on Netflix in North America on 6 February 2012, with all eight episodes available in full for streaming on the service.[5] Lilyhammer is the first original series by Netflix. The spelling of the series title alludes to Lily—Tagliano's dog—killed in the first episode during an attempt on Tagliano's life, and the way some anglophones pronounce the town's name.

A second season was commissioned after the success of the first. However, Van Zandt's schedule with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Wrecking Ball Tour delayed production. It was announced in January 2013 that guitarist Tom Morello would replace him for the Australian leg of the tour, so that filming could proceed.[6] Filming completed in April 2013, and included shoots both in Norway and New York City. Season two premiered 23 October 2013 on NRK, and 13 December 2013 on Netflix.[7] In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Van Zandt announced he has signed on for a third season of the show, with filming to begin 3 January 2014.[8]


Season 1[edit]

Frank Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt), a former underboss of the Italian mafia, is placed in the Witness Protection Program after testifying in a trial against his former boss, mafia head Aldo Delucci (Thomas Grube). Frank requests that he be relocated to Lillehammer. His new identity is Norwegian-American immigrant Johnny Henriksen. On a train journey from Oslo to Lillehammer, Johnny befriends teacher Sigrid Haugli (Marian Saastad Ottesen) and her son Jonas (Mikael Aksnes-Pehrson). After spending the night with Sigrid, she learns she is pregnant with twins. When Sigrid's father complains of animals disrupting his farming, Johnny hires his new friends Torgeir (Trond Fausa Aurvåg) and Roar Lien (Steinar Sagen) to help him kill the animals. They hide in a cabin owned by Jan Johansen (Fridtjov Såheim), a local NAV worker. When he learns of the break-in, the trio blackmail him with naked photos of young girls that he took without permission.

Johnny's neighbour, police chief Laila Hovland (Anne Krigsvoll), and police officer Geir Tvedt (Kyrre Hellum) become suspicious of Johnny, when he opens his nightclub, the Flamingo. When the local biker gang attempt to start a war with Johnny, he hires them to deliver the club's alcohol supply. Johnny invests in an apartment block, being promised his own penthouse. Geir edits a photo of Johnny to make him appear as a terrorist. The police find the photo and dismiss Geir's claims, much to his anger. Eventually, Johnny is told that the apartments are meant for families and he is kicked out of the deal. Geir learns that Johnny bears a similarity to vanished criminal Frank Tagliano and goes to New York, telling Laila that he is going to Memphis on an Elvis tour.

In New York, Geir befriends a transvestite, who uses her connections in the underworld to get Geir information on Johnny. Aldo learns of Geir's appearance and sends hitman Robert Grasso (Tim Ahern) and his nephew Jerry (Greg Canestari) to learn of Frank's location. They find Geir and pursue him through a tunnel, eventually cornering and killing him. When they learn that Geir is from Lillehammer, they set out to Norway. Meanwhile, in Lillehammer, Johnny purchases a penthouse and invites Sigrid and Jonas to move in. When a mysterious beating occurs, Laila finds a connection between Johnny and the beating. Torgeir informs Johnny of the hitmen and becomes curious of his true identity.

Eventually, Robert and Jerry kidnap Jonas and Johnny gives chase through a nearby museum. Jonas manages to escape and Robert kills Jerry. Johnny makes a deal with Robert, promising to spare him if he returns to New York and tells Aldo that he is dead. When Torgeir confronts Johnny, he lies and says he is a CIA agent wanted by the mafia. When Sigrid learns of the abduction, she cuts off all ties with Johnny.

Season 2[edit]

8 months later, British thief Duncan Hammer (Paul Kaye) arrives in Lillehammer, looking to sell a Ferrari through car salesman Sebastian. However, Sebastian owes money to Johnny and his crew, now including the bikers and Jan. When Johnny and Torgeir capture Sebastian, Torgeir, Roar and Arne (Tommy Karlsen Sandum), the leader of the biker gang, "borrow" the Ferrari and film themselves speeding across Lillehammer's longest bridge. On the way, they hit a moose and destroy the car. Jan learns that his old fling Randi (Henriette Steenstrup) is in charge of the refugee centre and gets Johnny a spot on the centre's board. Johnny and Sigrid's twins are christened. When Duncan interrogates Sebastian of the gang's location, he corners Torgeir in the Flamingo. Before Duncan can kill them, Torgeir stabs him in the neck and they hire Arne to dispose of the body.

Johnny relocates Indian IT employee Gareth to Lillehammer to become his crew's hacker. African refugee Balotelli (Momobou Lamin Touray) is about to deported back to Africa, when Jan and Johnny intervene. They employ Balotelli as the Flamingo's head chef. Duncan's brother Tony (Tony Pitts) and uncle Terry (Alan Ford) arrive in Lillehammer to find Duncan. Eventually, Tony and Terry kidnap Roar, holding him for ransom. Johnny and Torgeir lure the gangsters to an ice lake, where they rescue Roar and leave Tony and Terry to freeze to death.

Johnny wins Citizen of the Year and Torgeir befriends local millionaire Lars Olafsen (Henrik Mestad). Lars becomes an investor in the Flamingo and convinces Johnny to fire Torgeir. Reluctantly, he agrees and fires him. However, he re-hires Torgeir and cuts Lars out of the club's future investments. Meanwhile, a bank robbery in Oslo results in the thieves stealing files on Johnny's relocation. Laila moves to Oslo and becomes a successful. She is replaced by Mette Hansen (Silje Torp Færavaag), who sleeps with Torgeir and leads a raid on the Flamingo. Johnny hires his old friend, criminal Thomas Aune (Kyrre Haugen Sydness), to help him track down the thieves.

Torgeir and Roar's mother Belinda (Maylen Feragen) returns home and begins dating Swedish gangster Stanley Olsson (Johannes Brost), who immediately proposes to her and makes Johnny his best man and Roar his toastmaster. Torgeir and Roar hold a bachelor party for Stanley at the club, but he begins to mistreat the dancers. They kick him out of the club and leave him to wander home by himself. The next morning, Torgeir and Roar learn that their neighbour's sheep was raped by Stanley. They tell Johnny, who abducts Stanley and sends him back to Sweden. During Jan's birthday party, Randi walks in and finds him flirting with the dancers. She leaves and files a report on the refugee centre, causing it to close down.

The crew track down the thieves, only to learn that Thomas and his friend are working with them. They raid their hideout and take the stolen items from the heist. Johnny gives the stolen jewelery to Hansen, who returns the items to the bank and becomes a national hero, getting a promotion to Oslo. Johnny takes back his relocation file, but Thomas steals it and goes to New York, where he plans to sell it to Delucci. When a farmer owes money to Johnny, he promises them a reindeer herd. They plan to create an avalanche and collect insurance money, but Torgeir backs out and the plan is ruined.

Johnny and Sigrid's twins begin at a local kindergarten, while Johnny begins to date their teacher, Tiril (Viktoria Winge). She suggests that they race the reindeer herd down Lillehammer's main street. She says that relationships between teachers and parents are forbidden, so Johnny takes the twins out of the kindergarten. Johnny informs Lars of the idea and they begin promoting the Reindeer Race. In New York, Robert learns of Thomas's presence and kills him, hiding the file from Delucci. Jan returns to the refugee centre and tells Randi to take back the complaint report. She refuses and he accidentally pushes her into a wall, killing her.

Jan informs Johnny of Randi's death and they send him to Iraq. Robert appears in Lillehammer and tells Johnny to return to New York to kill Delucci. Johnny, Torgeir and Roar pose as Norwegian tour guides and attend a party held by Delucci in his restaurant. On the restaurant balcony, they corner him and shoot him, before pushing him off the balcony. They return to Lillehammer and Torgeir wins the lead in a local tribute to "Glee". 8 month later, the Reindeer Race is a success. Johnny and his friends watch from the Flamingo's rooftop.


  • Steven Van Zandt as Frank Tagliano / Giovanni "Johnny" Henriksen
  • Trond Fausa Aurvåg as Torgeir Lien, Giovanni's friend and business partner
  • Marian Saastad Ottesen as Sigrid Haugli, Giovanni's friend and love interest
  • Steinar Sagen as Roar Lien, the local taxidriver; Torgeir's brother
  • Fridtjov Såheim as the NAV worker Jan Johansen
  • Sven Nordin as the lawyer Julius Backe
  • Anne Krigsvoll as the chief of police Laila Hovland
  • Mikael Aksnes-Pehrson as Sigrid's son Jonas Haugli
  • Kyrre Hellum as the police officer Geir "Elvis" Tvedt
    • Øyvind Blomstrøm, bass guitarist in El Cuero and drummer Svein Åge Lillehamre of the Lucky Bullets appeared as backing musicians for (Kyrre Hellum's) Elvis cover-band in multiple episodes.
  • Tommy Karlsen Sandum as MC-Arne
  • Greg Canestrari as Jerry Delucci
  • Tim Ahern as Robert Grasso
  • Beate Eriksen as Arne's mother
  • Jay Benedict as Agent Becker
  • Ingrid Olava appeared as herself, playing the piano at the Flamingo at the end of the first season finale.
  • Paul Kaye as Duncan Hammer (season 2)[9]
  • Tony Sirico as Frank's brother, Father of a church. (season 2)
  • Pål Espen Kilstad as Trond (season 2)
  • Erik Madsen (season 2)
  • Amy Beth Hayes (season 2)
  • Jakob Oftebro as swimming instructor (season 2)
  • Amit Shah as Gareth, a Packard Bell call center employee, who Frank hires to be his hacker (season 2)[10]
  • Alan Ford as a British Gangster, claiming to be from Scotland Yard (season 2)
  • Tony Pitts as Duncan's brother (season 2)
  • Richard Skog as Odjobb, Frank's bodyguard (season 2)
  • Silje Torp as Mette Hansen (season 2)
  • Maureen van Zandt as Ange, friend of Frank in New York (season 2)


The first series was shot on location during 2011, with post-production finishing in November and originally intended to be aired on NRK on 1 January 2012. Due to a conflict between NRK and the producers about product placements, which were illegal under Norwegian law at the time of production, the Norwegian broadcast was put on hold. After a three-week delay, the series premiered in Norway on 25 January 2012. The series was commissioned by NRK from Norwegian Rubicon TV AS in association with Netflix and German-owned distributor Red Arrow International.[2]

The second series was filmed on location both in Norway and New York City during the first four months of 2013.[citation needed]


Season Episodes Originally aired DVD and Blu-ray release date
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 2
1 8 25 January 2012 14 March 2012 3 December 2013 28 March 2012
2 8 23 October 2013 11 December 2013 N/A 19 February 2014


Lilyhammer has received mixed reviews from critics. Viewer ratings currently hold a 62/100 critic rating and a 8.2 user rating on Metacritic. [11]


Lilyhammer premiered in Norway on 25 January 2012. On 6 February 2012, the show began streaming on Netflix in Canada and the US. From 11 September 2012, it was transmitted on BBC Four in the UK.[12][13][14] The series was bought by several other broadcasting companies, including SVT[15] in Sweden (for transmission in autumn 2012), and companies in Germany, Belgium, Australia, Denmark and France.[16] The series has been sold to over 130 countries worldwide.[17]


  1. ^ Frans Bak Scored ‘Lilyhammer’
  2. ^ a b "Norge får «Lilyhammer» først likevel". 16 January 2012. (Norwegian).
  3. ^ "‘Lilyhammer’ sets new NRK record". Norway International Network. 26 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Steven Van Zandt’s ‘Lilyhammer’ Breaks Ratings Records in Norway". Hollywood Reporter. 27 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Netflix 'Lilyhammer' to tv lineup". 9 March 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Tom Morello to join Wrecking Ball Tour in Australia". 16 January 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Netflix Sets Second Season Premiere Of ‘Lilyhammer’". 6 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Steven Van Zandt 'Honored' By E Street Band's Hall of Fame Induction". Rolling Stone. 18 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "‘Lilyhammer’ Adds Cast For Season Two". 21 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Lilyhammer: Production Kick-Off Season 2". Red Arrow International.
  11. ^ "Lilyhammer - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "BBC Picks Up Steven Van Zandt Drama ‘Lilyhammer’". Hollywood Reporter. 6 February 2012.
  13. ^ Frost, Vicky (5 February 2012). "Lilyhammer series could provide just the tonic for bereft Borgen fans". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  14. ^ "BBC4 TV listings for 11 September 2012". BBC. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Lilyhammer" (in Swedish). SVT. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  16. ^ ""Lilyhammer"-suksess i Storbritannia" (in Norwegian). NRK. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Lilyhammer solgt til over 130 land" (in Norwegian). NRK. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 

External links[edit]