Now Available: Tech Talk Podcast with Scott Wilkinson, Episode 19 Click here for details.
Underbelly (TV series)
Written by Greg Haddrick
Starring Rodger Corser
Opening theme Burkhard Dallwitz "It's A Jungle Out There"
Country of origin Australia
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Des Monaghan
Producer(s) Greg Haddrick
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel Nine Network
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original airing 13 February 2008 - 7 May 2008
Followed by Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities
Underbelly is a 13-part Australian television mini-series, retelling the real events of the 1995–2004 gangland war in Melbourne. The series is based on the book Leadbelly: Inside Australia's Underworld, by The Age journalists John Silvester and Andrew Rule. Underbelly began screening on 13 February 2008 on the Nine Network in all states and territories except Victoria, due to a court injunction. An edited version of the series premiered in Victoria on 14 September 2008 after the injunction was partially lifted, although only the first five episodes were shown. The series depicts the key players in Melbourne's criminal underworld, including the Carlton Crew and their rival, Carl Williams. Underbelly is produced by the Australian Film Finance Corporation, in association with Film Victoria. The executive producers are Des Monaghan and Jo Horsburgh.
The lead-up to Underbelly involved a heavy marketing campaign which covered radio, print, billboards and an increased online presence, including the use of social networking tools. At a reported cost of $500,000, both this marketing investment and potentially millions of dollars in advertising revenue were claimed to be put at risk by the Victorian Supreme Court's injunction, as the series was expected to attract 800,000 to 1 million viewers in Victoria alone. The injunction was put in place to ensure that upcoming criminal trials were not unfair to the accused, because the series contained fictionalised re-enactments of several disputed events. Underbelly was a critical and ratings success when ultimately aired, being described as "Australia's best ever crime drama". The opening double episodes, which aired on 13 February, attracted an average of 1,320,000 viewers nationally, minus Victoria.
Every episode of the 13-part series was soon made available for download on a range of sites, with the Nine Network saying it was considering legal action. The legal DVD of Underbelly was released on 8 May 2008, a day after the final episode was aired on television. Due to the legal suppression, the release was not able to be distributed through any retail or rental outlets in Victoria or on the internet. The Nine Network then aired a second season, prequel to the series, entitled Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities and recently commissioned a third season, Underbelly: The Golden Mile which is expected to begin airing at the beginning of 2010.
DIRECTV Takes Viewers Deep Into the "Underbelly" of the Australian Crime World
DIRECTV's The 101® Network continues to bring viewers acclaimed programming that can't be seen anywhere else with the addition of the award-winning Australian crime-drama trilogy "Underbelly." Based on true events, "Underbelly" is a gripping, gritty and shocking portrayal of the violent, drug-fueled Australian underworld from the 1970s through the early 2000s, with each installment portraying a specific period in the country's criminal history. The trilogy begins with "Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities" and tells the story of the Griffith drug trade in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Part two of the series is titled "Underbelly: War on the Streets" and focuses on the Melbourne gangland killings between 1995 and 2004. The trilogy concludes with "Underbelly: The Golden Mile" that documents the hotbed of criminal activity in famed Kings Cross section of Sydney in 1989.
"In addition to the hit series we have acquired domestically, we have been searching the world for the best programming to bring to our customers," said Eric Shanks, executive vice president of entertainment for DIRECTV. "We immediately became fans of 'Underbelly' and are thrilled to add it to The 101 Network's line-up."
"Underbelly" won six Australian Film Institute awards including Best Drama Series, Best Director, Best Lead Actress and Best Lead Actor as well as two Australian Writers Guild Awards and three Silver Logie Awards.
The "Underbelly" trilogy begins on The 101 Network with "Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities," February 10 at 10 p.m. (directly following the season four finale of "Friday Night Lights"). Loosely based on the events that stemmed from the evolution of the drug trade in Griffin, New South Wales and spanning almost two decades, the season focuses on the Mr. Asia drug syndicate and the two men who changed the face of organized crime in Australia. Among the characters presented are real-life criminals Robert Trimbole, Terry Clark, George Freeman, Christopher Dale Flannery and the Kane Brothers. In addition to earning critical acclaim, "Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities" premiered on The Nine Network in Australia to the largest audience ever for a non-sporting program.
A compelling dramatization of the blockbuster book "Leadbelly" by The Age journalists Jon Silvester and Andrew Rule, "Underbelly: War on the Streets" tells the story of the infamous Melbourne gangland killings between 1995 and 2004, one of the bloodiest crime wars in Western history. Police were forced to rely on unconventional tactics, highly sophisticated surveillance and fearless determination as drug wars escalated and public alarm grew. Like "A Tale of Two Cities," "Underbelly" was a tremendous critical and ratings success in Australia.
Currently in production, the final chapter of the "Underbelly" series, "Underbelly: The Golden Mile" is a sequel to "A Tale of Two Cities." Set in 1989, "The Golden Mile" is a story of the excess that resulted in the collapse of an empire, the chaos that followed and the ultimate victory of strong and honest police. Several of the characters from season two are expected to return for season three.
Originally Posted by Offline /forum/post/18202339
The US is getting Season 2 first isn't it? I never saw the original as it was banned in our State (legal reasons, it was shown in the rest of the Country). Right now they are advertising S3 as coming soon which looks pretty good.
It is good to see a high profile Australian production making its way to the States, I assume it is being played uncut there?
Remember that this is shown on free-to-air here at 8:30pm... but I think our stations have a much greater chance of playing Adult content that a non-cable US station. Would that be correct?