Netflix has announced that it will bring its original TV show Lillyhammer to the UK and Ireland, picking up the rights to stream the Norwegian comedy drama following a deal with the show’s German distributor SevenOne International.

Lillyhammer will debut on UK televisions later this year after being snapped up by the BBC, meaning that Netflix’s UK subscribers will have to wait until the show has aired on BBC4.

The streaming company began commissioning original programming to reduce its reliance on partners and to formally enter the production market. The show premiered in Norway on January 25 and broke domestic viewing records.

It then came to the US, Canada and Latin America in February, delivering all 8 episodes via the Netflix website.

Lilyhammer is a Norwegian-American comic drama that stars Sopranos actor Steven Van Zandt as a New York gangster who enters the witness protection programme and relocates to Lillehammer, a town that he came to love after seeing it rise to prominence during the 1994 Winter Olympics.

The show has already been signed up for a second season, with Netflix down to coproduce it. The BBC has also picked up the rights to the show when it returns, which is due to air next Winter.

Netflix announced at the start of the year that it streamed 2 billion hours of TV shows and movies in the fourth quarter of 2011, hosting 20 million members spread across 45 countries.

With the company entering Europe, Lillyhammer is set to see improved viewing figures when it becomes available on the continent.