After having won over industry and festival juries at Series Mania and the Spanish Serielizados TV festival last fall, the Icelandic TV drama Blackport (Verbúðin) which tackles the politically-charged subject of fishing quotas - and thereby the life blood of the Icelandic economy, with the right dose of drama, entertainment as well as humour, has now conquered the national audience.

Launched December 26 on RÚV, the series is one of the Icelandic pubcaster’s biggest local dramas in the last decade, along with RVK Studios’ crime hit Trapped, which premiered in 2016.

Speaking to, RÚV’s programme director Skarphéðinn Guðmundsson said: "I can safely say that the reception to Blackport has exceeded our expectations. The ratings so far are already amongst the highest we've seen for a local drama, steadily being around and over 50% across linear, catch-up and player, even though we've just started to air it and aren’t even halfway through the series. On top of that, we already have in place numbers that show us a whopping 80% audience approval,” states the TV executive who goes on. “The social response has also been nothing less than sensational. The series and its story’s background about the fishing quota and the period in question - namely the Eighties with all its trends (culture, fashion, politics and social issues) are close to being daily news and the main topic of discussion on social media,” noted Guðmundsson, who believes no other local TV show has achieved a similar buzz since Trapped S1 or even the comedy trilogy series The Nightshift (commissioned by Iceland’s Channel 2) which first aired in 2007.

RÚV’s TV executive predicts final ratings of Blackport to exceed 60%, “which would be phenomenal,” he said.

Co-showrunner and actor Gísli Örn Garðarsson said: "In our wildest dreams we could not have hoped for a stronger reaction [from the audience], on so many levels. It's actually so overwhelming that talking about it just makes us shy."

Blackport was co-created by Vesturport talents Garðarsson (Ragnarok, Vultures), Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Trapped, Fortitude) and Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir (The Valhalla Murders, Trapped), who also served as producers, together with Nana Alfredsdóttir.

Co-writers Garðarsson , Haraldsson, and Mikael Torfason are nominated for the coveted Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize-Best Nordic Screenplay, to be handed out February 2, during Göteborg’s TV Drama Vision.

The Icelandic series produced by Vesturport for RÚV and Arte France, is co-produced by the UK’s Turbine Studios with backing among others from the Nordic 12 TV alliance and Nordisk Film & TV Fond.
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