Average Audience Size : more than 1,000,000
Year Started: 1998
Number of episodes (at the end of 2003): 164
Shown in: Fifteen countries, including; France, South Africa,
New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Poland, the Netherlands, Turkey and Egypt.
Inspired by true events, STINGERS is a drama series about undercover cops – people with covert lives and constantly changing identities. STINGERS reveals the shadowy and ambiguous life of police who work behind enemy lines – always without a badge and frequently without protection.
Debuting on the Nine Network in 1998, STINGERS continues for a seventh season in 2003. The 40 part series is produced by Beyond Simpson Le Mesurier for the Nine Network and stars Peter Phelps, Gary Sweet, Kate Kendall, Jacinta Stapleton and Daniel Frederiksen.
The list of guest stars in this series reads like a “Who’s Who” of Australian film and television, including Ray Barrett, Brett Climo, Judi Farr, Vince Colosimo, Grant Bowler, Tony Barry, Nicholas Bell, Zoe Bertram, Robert Grubb, Rachael Beck and Alex Papps.
“Stingers turns the concept of the police show inside out,” says Roger Simpson who developed the project for television. With partner Roger Le Mesurier, Simpson created the internationally successful HALIFAX f.p., and the acclaimed series GOOD GUYS BAD GUYS and SOMETHING IN THE AIR.
The tension and suspense in STINGERS depend not on the investigation, but on the ‘sting’ – where the criminals are caught through the deception of a cop they thought was one of them. The men and women of the Undercover Unit work in the most murky and dangerous of all occupations. No-one uses the name they were born with. It’s safer that way. And their rules are so removed from the rest of the force that few can relate to what they do. Their world is one of constant tension and betrayal. Yet it clearly has strong attractions to a select few – and undercover operatives say it can become addictive.
STINGERS has been inspired by the extraordinary career of Guy Wilding, who spent much of his 20 years in the police force undercover, which later became the basis for the Peter Phelps character. He has worked closely with the scriptwriters recounting his true-life experiences and providing a rare insight into the secrets of Australian law enforcement. Mr Wilding, who spent much of his 20 years in the police force undercover, later became the basis for the Peter Phelps character in Stingers and a creative consultant to the show.
Since its debut in 1998, the series has been sold to a host of territories around the world including France, South Africa, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Netherlands, Turkey and Egypt.