Based on real events in Melbourne, Victoria, between 1995 and 2004, Underbelly tells the story of the gangland war, known as the Melbourne gangland killings, between rival factions of Melbourne's criminal underworld. This major primetime production based on true events features an all-star cast from Australia.
The series was banned from being broadcast in Victoria, Australia until the conclusion of an upcoming gangland murder trial. The order was issued on February 12, 2008 by Supreme Court judge Betty King.
The whole 13 episode series was sporadically bootlegged throughout Victoria and Australia. The first 9 episodes were being sold on DVD in markets across Victoria, such as Footscray and Queen Victoria, as early as three weeks into its initial broadcast. Roberta Williams' older daughter was known to be selling the complete 13 episodes on DVD at her Essendon School, Ava Maria in mid-March 2008. Apparently, Roberta bribed someone within the Nine Network, and obtained the complete series.