The second season of Australian true-life crime drama “Underbelly”, subtitled ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, broke ratings records Down Under in its two-hour season premiere last night.
The debut pulled in 2.58 million viewers with a peak of 2.8 million viewers across the five major cities. Nationally, including regional areas, it pulled in 3.5 million viewers. This makes it the highest rating non-sporting program in the history of Australia’ television ratings according to The Australian.
Combining brutal violence, graphic sex and pitch black humor, the first season debuted to large ratings and critical acclaim last year and dealt with the true events surrounding the brutal war between rival factions of Melbourne’s criminal underworld between 1995 and 2006. It was famously banned from being broadcast or sold in Australia’s second biggest state Victoria until gangland trial proceedings were concluded.
The prequel ‘Cities’ flashes back to the decade from 1976 to 1987 when the illegal drug industry took hold of Australia and follows two criminal kingpins who were fundamental to establishing the trade in Sydney.
Meanwhile a banned 37-second viral video for this second season, which leaked briefly online two weeks ago, has popped up again on YouTube. The Nine Network and Screentime, which officially denied any knowledge of the video but have confirmed that all the footage is from the show according to The Sydney Morning Herald.