ITV Studios has won the rights to distribute the upcoming fourth season of smash hit crime drama Underbelly, TBIvision understands.
The show is made by Australian producer Screentime and the first three seasons of the show are distributed by DRG.
ITV’s distribution arm has stepped in and taken the rights to the new series, Underbelly: Razor, which will launch on the Nine Network later this month. ITV Studios will launch it internationally at MIPCOM.
The Australian drama series has been a huge hit on Nine, which has aired three seasons as well as Underbelly TV movies. Unusually, each season of the show is set in a different period and has a different cast.
Underbelly: Razor is a full period piece, tracking the story of the razor gangs that ruled the Sydney underworld in the 1920s and 1930s. It has a significantly larger budget than the first three series with the producers having to build large sets recreating 1920s Sydney.
The first three series were based on books by John Silvester and Andrew Rule. The new season is based on a book by Larry Writer.
As well as having a big hit in the shape of Underbelly, Screentime has enjoyed recent success with another scripted series, Cloud Street, the TV adaptation of the Tim Winton novel. Distributor Target Entertainment will launch it at MIPCOM and has already sold it to Sky Atlantic in the UK.
Screentime has just picked up rights to another best-selling Australian novel that it plans to adapt for TV, Batavia. The Peter FitzSimon’s book tells the story of the Dutch East India company’s flagship, Batavia, which foundered off the coast of Australia in 1629.