Originally Posted by bruce73
So are these made-for-TV films? Are they part of the TV series mentioned or something different? I'm a little confused. With five produced in 2008 alone, I'm guessing they were designed for TV (like the Noomi Rapace series)?
In Scandinavia the TV Series vs TV Movie vs Cinema release situation is a bit different to the US and the UK.
In Sweden, and I think Norway, it is common for episodic drama to be commissioned as a partial cinema, partial direct-to-DVD, partial TV release, with co-production funding from film and TV partners in multiple Nordic countries (and Germany, and in some cases Hungary I think) and the order of the release structure might be different in different countries. It is common for a block of films/episodes to be shot, and then the releases be staggered across a year or longer.
So you might have the first episode of a production block released first in a cinemas in Sweden, then onto DVD/Blu-ray. Subsequent episodes may then be released straight to DVD/Blu-ray in Sweden, and then at a later date shown on TV there, by the TV channel that put up some of the co-production funding. The DVD/Blu-ray releases could be staggered approximately monthly, or maybe 6 weekly. (However in Germany it could be that the co-producing TV partner - usually ARD Degeto - will show them first, and they will be released on DVD after this airing. The Swedish Wallander Series 2 had it's first episode as a theatrical release in Sweden, and the series actually aired weekly on UK TV before it had fully aired on Swedish TV)
My understanding is that Varg Veum, Wallander (TV 4 series) and possibly the Beck franchise (TV4) have followed this model (not always having a theatical release, but with DVD/Blu-ray releases before TV broadcast not after) All of these shows are self-contained stories within each episode, like Inspector Morse or Lewis. So you could go to the cinema, watch one film, and have seen a beginning, middle and end.
When I went to Sweden a year or two ago there were posters everywhere advertising that the first Wallander from series 2 was on at the cinema. It was a pretty big deal. Totally different to the UK and the US!
It's kind of the opposite situation to the UK and US, where shows are first shown on TV, then released on DVD/Blu-ray afterwards. And the US and UK don't have the tradition of cinematic releases for series that in the UK and US would be seen as a TV show.
It's a bit like the season opener of CSI being released in the cinema, then on DVD/Blu-ray, and then broadcast on TV, with subsequent episodes possibly getting cinema releases, but going direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray before airing on TV.
I believe the Varg Veum series have been a mix of theatrical releases and direct-to-DVD releases, and then TV broadcast, though I may be wrong. I think more of the second 'series' have been cinema releases.
I have all the currently released Varg Veum episodes/films (it's difficult to know how to describe them as they're kind of both!) and they are as listed above with Trond Espen Seim playing the lead.
When it comes to the Millennium series (aka "The Girl with/who...") that was originally planned to be a cinema release for the first book adaptation, with the subsequent two books being DVD/Blu-ray and extended TV releases only (each book was broadcast as 2 x 90min eps on TV).
Of course the global success of the first movie release meant that the following two adaptations were also released in the cinema first. However I think some of the slightly negative reviews of the 2nd and 3rd films are probably a result of it being planned as a "straight to DVD/Blu-ray and TV" release.
Of course not all TV shows follow this model. Forbrydelsen (aka The Killing) was definitely a made for TV series, and AFAIK was broadcast on TV first (it was made in-house by DR - the Danish equivalent of the BBC)