via press release:
DIRECTV TAKES VIEWERS DEEP INTO THE UNDERBELLY OF THE AUSTRALIAN CRIME WORLD
All Three Seasons of the Critically Acclaimed and
Award-Winning Series “Underbelly” will Air Exclusively on
The 101 Network – Uncut, Commercial Free and in HD – Beginning February 2010
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., September 17, 2009 – 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.
Underbelly is produced by the Australian Film Finance Corporation, in association with Film Victoria. Producers are Greg Hedrick and Brenda Pam and executive producers are Des Monaghan and Jo Horsburgh.
About DIRECTV’s The 101® Network
The 101 Network, DIRECTV’s exclusive entertainment channel, is a unique television experience that is available to 18.3 million DIRECTV subscribers. In 2008, the network changed the television landscape with the unprecedented third season premiere of the Emmy Award-winning
series Friday Night Lights and has since become the premiere destination for diverse, quality and critically acclaimed programming. Through its partnerships with leading television and film studios, networks and top cable channels, The 101 Network offers viewers the finest in drama and comedy, with daring, innovative series, exclusive “sneak peek” programming and premium cable series un-cut in their original form. The 101 Network showcases concert specials from superstar artists and celebrated music festivals such as SXSW Live and Farm Aid, sporting events such as UFC Fighter exposés and the annual DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl; as well as feature films and TV movie specials.