Underbelly telemovies for Nine

Screen Australia has announced funding for new television projects.

As tipped by TV Tonight there are three telemovies by Screentime for Channel Nine. The three are being branded as ‘Underbelly telemovies.’

They will focus on armed robber Russell ‘Mad Dog’ Cox; the murders of Victorian police officers Silk & Miller tied in with the Lorimer Taskforce; and Victorian policeman Colin McLaren’s infiltration of the Calabrian Mafia.

The projects will be produced by Peter Gawler and Elisa Argenzio, written by Peter Gawler, Graeme Koetsveld and Kris Mrksa, and are directed by Shawn Seet, Grant Brown and Cherie Nowlan.

How they will link to the Underbelly brand is still unclear. At this rate, Caroline Craig should think about upping her voice over fees.

In other funding approvals, Tony Tilse will direct Panic at Rock Island for Channel Nine. “An island on spectacular Sydney Harbour. Summer sun. Top international artists. Tens of thousands of music fans from across the world. Idyllic… until unimaginable disaster strikes.” It is written by Matt Ford and produced by Rosemary Blight and Dave Gibson.

Outland is a comedy about a gay science fiction fan club, and the lives, loves and never-ending dramas of its members. Produced by Andrea Denholm and Laura Waters for Princess Pictures it is co-written by John Richards and Adam Richard and directed by Kevin Carlin for ABC TV.

Meanwhile Helen Panckhurst and Penny Chapman, the team ,behind Remote Area Nurse received funding for The Straits, an exotic, darkly humorous crime drama that follows the fortunes of a family who happen to be on the wrong side of the law. Dubbed an ‘Australian Sopranos in Thongs’ it is written by Blake Ayshford, Nick Parsons, Jaime Browne and Louis Nowra, and directed by Peter Andrikidis, Catriona McKenzie, Jessica Hobbs and Tony Tilse. It will air on ABC TV.

Documentaries to receive funding include Charles Bean’s Great War (producer John Moore, director Wain Fimeri), Second Australians (producers Alex West and Lucy Maclaren, series producer Jacob Hickey and series director Ben Shackleford) both for SBS.


  1. I thought exactly the same thing, Nik – “an exotic, darkly humorous crime drama that follows the fortunes of a family who happen to be on the wrong side of the law” does sound exactly like Outrageous Fortune, which is an underrated show methinks. I was going to dismiss it altogether but seeing Louis Nowra’s name attached makes me willing to give it a try.

  2. The Straits actually sounds like it could be an Aussie version of Outrageous Fortune. Lets hope it is not the same and has a point of difference!

  3. The Silk Miller story is pretty amazing. There is an excellent book called One Down One MIssing written by one of the officers who investigated the murders. It would make a great movie.

  4. Outland sounds like it could be good. QAF meets The Guild/Big Bang Theory.

    Same for The Straits, although premature comparisons to The Sopranos indicates that it is sure to disappoint.

    Panic at Rock Harbour sounds like a local attempt at Harpers Island/Happy Town/Twin Peaks or similar. Sounds like it could be okay.

  5. Even though i won’t miss Carl and have no intention of watching Underbelly, i think the choice of photo on this one is a little iffy especially on the day the real Carl is being buried !

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