Big family entertainment, world-class drama, state-of-the-art natural history, home-grown comedy and compelling real life stories are at the heart of RTÉ’s new season television schedule, which was unveiled today.
The line-up boasts over 60 new shows and series across factual, entertainment, arts, comedy, lifestyle and drama programming – and a host of RTÉ’s most recognisable faces joined new talent to celebrate the event in RTÉ’s Studio 4 on Thursday morning.
Speaking at the launch RTÉ’s Director-General, Dee Forbes, said, “This autumn and winter RTÉ will offer big, beautiful and captivating natural history programmes; a strong line-up of female led- dramas; and a range of ambitious, incisive documentaries that tell Ireland’s story.”
“RTÉ is making new comedy with new young writers; RTÉ is bringing the arts to big audiences through a host of new authored documentaries; RTÉ is partnering with more national cultural institutions and organisations than ever before.
“Supported by the backbone of RTÉ – news and sport – these new schedules demonstrate a passion for public service media, a commitment to working with others, new talent and new faces, and delivers standout national moments. Our ambition – our role – is to captivate the nation, and this new schedule demonstrates that, RTÉ will continue to put great Irish content at the heart of what we do.”
The new schedule launch revealed that Baz Ashmawy is back with a brand new RTÉ One documentary, tackling the topic of gambling.
Speaking at the launch, Baz said, “I’ve avoided gambling out of fear. I have friends in certain circles and I see how it affects them. Drugs and alcohol is a visual addiction, gambling is hidden.”
RTÉ2 viewers can expect a broad range of documentaries from the insightful and groundbreaking to the entertaining and tongue-in-cheek, including Vogue Williams’ three part docu-series, in which she looks at sperm donation, sugar daddies and, the epidemic of our time, anxiety.
Another important part of RTÉ’s autumn schedule is drama, which remains a priority for RTÉ, and includes new series called Acceptable Risk – which stars Elaine Cassidy, as well as Striking Out (Amy Huberman), Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, and Fair City.
In terms of entertainment and comedy, there’s plenty across the board including Nowhere Fast – six-part comedy about the boomerang generation written and starring comedian, Alison Spittle.
The Young Offenders – the hit Irish movie will also come to the small screen in a six part series, filmed on location in Cork and starring Alex Murphy and Chris Walley. Commissioned by BBC3 and BBC comedy in association with RTÉ.
RTÉ2 favourites returning include Jennifer Zamparelli and Bernard O’Shea back to wreak more havoc on the 80s in a third series of Bridget & Eamon; and The Hardy Bucks. Over on RTÉ One, Brendan O’Carroll brings viewers two Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas specials as well as his hit chatshow All Round to Mrs Brown’s.
Wedding guru Franc makes his return to RTÉ with hit format Say Yes to the Dress as RTÉ turns its eye to the lighter side of Irish life.
Other highlights include a brand new series – Dermot Bannon’s Superhomes, which will see Ireland’s favourite architect travel to America for a two-part series looking at American superhomes. Room to Improve will also return after its most successful season yet with new clients including Daniel and Majella O’Donnell.
Salon Confidential, a four-part series for RTÉ2 has also been announced, and is set in a Dublin salon where the hairdressers and barbers not only revamp customers’ hair, they restyle their life.
Viewers can also look forward to the return of Today with Maura and Daithí, Celebrity Operation Transformation, First Dates Ireland, Home of the Year, Getaways with new presenter Tommy Bowe; Desperate Houses with new presenter Roisín Murphy; and Operation Transformation in the new year.