Nine has confirmed it has commissioned a new drama, Informer 3838, based on the life of gangland lawyer-turned-police informer Nicola Gobbo.
The announcement comes four months after it was revealed that Screentime, the production company behind the hit series Underbelly, was interested in dramatising the scandal that has engulfed Victoria's justice system. However, it is understood the new show will not be an official instalment of the broader Underbelly franchise.
Lawyer-turned-police informer Nicola Gobbo.Credit:Justin McManus
Ms Gobbo's role as Informer 3838 was only made public last month after Victoria Police's multimillion-dollar bid to keep her name secret was thrown out by the Court of Appeal. Previously, she was referred to in media reports as "Lawyer X", despite her true identity being one of Melbourne's worst-kept secrets.
The revelation that Victoria Police may have used information provided by Ms Gobbo to prosecute her clients led to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announcing a royal commission, and has raised questions about whether convictions in the wake of the state's gangland wars were conducted in accordance with the law.
Screentime boss Bob Campbell has previously admitted he is "always interested" in potential Underbelly stories.
Nine, the owner of this masthead, has not yet revealed when the new TV series is expected to go to air and it is not yet known who will play the lead role. However, filming will commence in Melbourne later this year.
The series could be a risk for the broadcaster, given the Underbelly franchise – which was a commercial and critical success when it debuted in 2008 – has seen a steady decline in ratings over the past decade.
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