HDTV Heads-Up: Underbelly – The Golden Mile

TV3 will launch series three of the Aussie gangland hit, Underbelly, with a two-hour special on May 5.

The original Underbelly was one of the first 1080i dramas TV3 screened after it became the first NZ channel to go HD two years ago.

It flopped spectacularly, partly because of misjudged programming, and was shunted off to late-night before becoming a primetime hit after it was repeated off the back of Underbelly: The Mr Asia Story’s phenomenal popularity.

Ironically, it was repeated in SD because TV3 awarded the series an earlier slot — but one for which the international cable-TV version it had first licenced hadn’t been approved by censors.

Because the network couldn’t locate an 8.30pm-friendly edit in HD, it opted for the SD free-to-air version instead.

Series three, The Golden Mile, which bridges its predecessors, has had mixed reviews across the Tasman but has still “murdered the competition”, convincing TV bosses to commission two more series.

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