Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Underbelly to go global - The Sydney Morning Herald - 8th April 2008

Controversial Melbourne gangland drama Underbelly will be seen by audiences around the world in Europe, Asia and Africa after the Nine Network signed an international distribution deal.

Nine today announced it had signed a deal with Fox International Channels and British-based distributor Portman Film & Television to broadcast the 13-episode series.

Underbelly will be screened across most Fox International Channel feeds, including Britain, Italy, the Balkans, Korea, Pan-Asia, Portugal, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

Nine's chief executive David Gyngell said the deal was testament to the production quality of Underbelly.

"To say we are pleased is an understatement - we are delighted that the series will gain international audiences and global recognition."

Underbelly focuses on the story behind Melbourne's infamous gangland killings - a 10-year war between rival factions of the city's criminal underworld.

The program has not been shown in Victoria because of a court order suppressing its broadcast in that state.

Nine's head of drama, Jo Horsburgh said the series had been a "terrific creative challenge".

"We are hugely proud of this outcome," Horsburgh said.

The show's premiere was the most successful Australian drama launch in Sydney and nationally in the 25-54 year old demographic since the OzTam ratings system was introduced.

It was also the No.1 program on its premiere night for all people in all the markets in which it aired - Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

AAP

Media Man Australia Profiles

Underbelly

Network Nine Australia