Icelandic crime series Trapped, created by Baltasar Kormakur, has launched with a bang after debuting on Dec 27 in Iceland.

The first episode had a 50% rating and a 90% share, making it the strongest debut for any TV series in Icelandic TV history.

The second episode’s airing on RUV on Jan 3 continued the strength, with a 55% rating and 91% share. In viewership, that translates to more than 132,000 for episode 1 and 141,000 for episode 2. Iceland has a total population of just 329,000.

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Illmur Kristjansdottir and Ingvar E. Sigurdsson star in the story of a troubled cop investigating a grisly murder in a small Icelandic fjord town, when a blizzard strikes the villagers are confined with the likely killer.

Kormákur created the premise for the show, which is written by Clive Bradley and Sigurjon Kjartansson. Kormákur directed two of the series’ ten 60-minute episodes and serves as a producer along with RVK Studios’ Magnus Viðar Sigurdsson. 

Dynamic Television’s Dan March and Klaus Zimmermann serve as executive producers. 

The series will soon begin its international rollout – Norway’s NRK will launch on Jan 11, followed by France (France Televisions) in February, Sweden (SVT) and Denmark (DR) in March and Germany (ZDF) in the autumn.

BBC4 has acquired UK right and The Weinstein Company has North American rights – making the first deal for an Icelandic TV show in the US.

Trapped first screened in Toronto’s new Primetime strand, and will also screen at Goteborg’s new TV section in February.

RVK Studios also was a producer on Kormakur’s hit epic Everest. The director is currently working in Iceland on The Oath, a psychological thriller inspired by the true story of an ordinary father and husband who plans to commit the perfect crime to save his drug-addicted daughter.