Norwegian drama Skam (Shame), which follows Noora and her friends at Hartvig Nissen High School in Oslo, has become a phenomenon since launching in October last year, but is proving difficult to sell overseas.
Claudia Schmidt at NRK’s distributor, Beta Film, told VG: “We have received feedback that the use of alcohol is very dominant. The characters are not just tipsy, but very drunk.”
However, Ole Hedemann, Project Manager for NRK Development, is not surprised by the lack of appetite for Skam abroad:
“Many of those who buy programmes are quite conservative. They like to play it safe. Skam does not play it safe. I would say that Skam is a liberal Nordic project that others may perceive as provocative.”
Hedemann also believes that the emphasis of the format on social media and online viewing makes it a difficult sell in many markets where linear TV continues to dominate.
Crucially though, Hedemann is confident that buyers will return once they have had a chance to digest the concept and the potential for it to engage a difficult target demographic which is withdrawing from the traditional broadcast model.