Underbelly: articles

Government to fund third Underbelly series

The NSW Government is funding a third instalment of the popular television series Underbelly, which will highlight the activities of crooked cops and pedophiles in the 1990s.

The 13 one-hour episodes, expected to go to air in 2010, will be based on events exposed by the Wood Royal Commission, Premier Nathan Rees has announced.

The Wood Royal Commission was established in May 1994 to investigate the wrongdoing of more than 30 officers in the NSW police force.

The scope of the inquiry was later expanded to include police protection of pedophiles including Sydney businessman Phillip Harold Bell.

Facing more than 100 charges related to pedophilia in 1997, Bell, who then owned several luxurious properties in NSW and Switzerland, allegedly paid a police officer $5000 to make conviction records "disappear".

Filming of the third Underbelly series will begin in August.

"It will create 170 jobs in production and post-production, helping contribute to NSW's creative industries sector," Mr Rees said in a statement today.

The most recently screened series, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, was filmed in Sydney and Melbourne.

Billed as the highest-rating drama program in the history of Australian television, it premiered in February to 2.5 million viewers.

The first series of Underbelly was based on Melbourne's gangland wars, which raged from 1995 to 2004.

June 03, 2009