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Nine preps Underbelly spin-off

Underbelly

Australia’s Network Nine is working on Fat Tony and Co, a spin-off of its crime drama franchise Underbelly.

The nine-part miniseries will feature a number of original Underbelly cast members and tell the story of real life Australian crime lord Tony Mokbel, who eventually arrested in an Athens café after fleeing to Greece.

Banijay-owned Screentime will once again produce, with Peter Gawler, Adam Todd, Jeff Truman and Michaeley O’Brien attached to pen the scripts.

Screentime’s executive chairman Des Monaghan and head of drama Greg Haddrick executive produce, along with Nine’s joint heads of drama Jo Rooney and Andy Ryan.

The Mokbel character, played by Robert Mammone, first appeared in the first Underbelly season in 2008. “When we first introduced Tony Mokbel, legal constraints greatly inhibited how much we could show. This time there are no such constraints – Fat Tony and Co is complete and unabridged,” said Monaghan.

Filming begins in Melbourne today and the series, which Nine is billing as “must-watch” event television, will broadcast in 2014.