Underbelly ban lifted in Victoria

The path is now clear for Channel Nine to air Underbelly in Victoria after arrested fugitive Tony Mokbel pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Victorian court.

In 2008, Justice Betty King banned Underbelly from being screened in Victoria due to pending cases.

The ban thwarted Nine’s national launch at the eleventh hour but uniquely created a buzz about the show which it has inherited for years.

Nine later aired edited versions of the first five episodes after the injunction was partially lifted, but has still not aired the full unedited series.

In that time many Victorians have managed to see the hit series, mostly via DVDs that were sold interstate or illegally at markets and car parks. Nine was left to play CSI: Miami episodes in its place, and to this day Victoria remains ahead on episodes compared to some other states.

Nine will now have the option to screen the gangster series in its entirety.

“We are looking at it seriously,” a Nine source told the Herald Sun.

While it could be tempting to screen the show on a multichannel, the likelihood is that the audience that hasn’t already seen the show probably still hasn’t made the full switch to digital. Nine would be wise to find room on its primary channel to bring it to that portion of the audience.

Mokbel, who has become known as “Fat Tony”, was captured in Greece in 2007 and portrayed in the series by actor Robert Mammone (pictured, left).

Mokbel is yet to be sentenced.

11 Comments:

  1. Finally! I so hope they do it. I still haven’t watched it by other means so I hope that 9 can finally properly show those in Victoria what the rest of Australia saw several years ago.

  2. So I can finally sell my S1 DVDs on eBay?

    I think Nine will probably show S1 on GEM for it’s HD quality (jokes aside) and then go through the entire series again. Don’t count on this turning up on the main channel in prime-time.

  3. Hope they do show it. There would still have been a fair percentage of the audience who never cared enough to seek it out interstate or online but would still be interested enough to check it out if it’s on FTA.

  4. Not sure it would be a huge ratings winner seeing as most people have already seen it but seriously, anything is better than what they’re offering at the moment.

  5. Screening it unedited and in full in Victoria would be a good idea in my opinion. I’d watch it again…..oh…not that I’ve ever actually seen the banned episodes of course.

  6. That series is so long ago. Hate to tell channel nine but most of melbourne have seen it by now. It really wasnt that hard getting a copy of the dvd

  7. Nine Melb should air Underbelly 1 on Friday night when the network doesn’t follow a network schedule or in place of CSI:Miami so Syd & Bris catch up. I know Adelaide is 4 episodes in front of Sydney and its about time everyone sees the same CSI: Miami at the same time.

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