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Mind-Numbing TV Shows Are A Hit In Norway

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "A SUMMER PLACE")

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, that sounds appropriate because our Last Word In Business today is boring television. Boring to us, at least, but a big hit in the Scandinavian country Norway - so much so that broadcasters are scrambling to produce even more potentially mind-numbing shows to whet the appetites of viewers.

(SOUNDBITE OF FERRY)

GREENE: Yes, that is the sound of a ferry as it makes its way around Norway's majestic coastline. Just a snippet of 134-hour, live broadcast; 2.5 million people - half of Norway's population - tuned in to watch.

Now NRK, Norway's biggest broadcaster, wants more.The Wall Street Journal reports that one idea being considered is a live show with knitting experts. Another is a 24-hour program that follows construction workers as they build a digital-style clock out of wood, racing against time to change digits for each passing minutes.

An NRK programming executive says the potential for boring TV seems unlimited, noting that some viewers complained about a recent, 18-hour live show of salmon spawning upstream - saying it felt way too short. I think we need to send Norway some episodes of "Real Housewives of New Jersey."

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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