It's almost the end of summer which means it's about time we were done with all the repeats and Best Of's on the telly box and got ourselves some new TV shows to sink our teeth into.
RTE launched their autumn season today at the Bord Gais Theatre and we headed along to see if there was anything interesting or exciting to report back on. One of the major talking points was of course the recently announced new series of Dancing with the Stars, but there's no new information there with RTE's channel controller Adrian Lynch joking that he had received quite a few unsolicited emails with suggestions of who should be on it, but so far they just have a long list (hopefully some of these are on it).
RTE have made their largest investment yet into homegrown drama, and one of the biggest announcements of the day is that they will have a follow up to 1916 drama 'Rebellion', which is set to be called Resistance and is about The War of Independence. It will go into production in the coming months. There's also a six-part thriller on the way called Acceptable Risk, starring Elaine Cassidy.
Another promising new show is Striking Out, which stars Amy Huberman, Rory Keenan and Neil Morrisey (Men Behaving Badly, Line of Duty) in what will be a four-part drama about "love, family and friendship in the world of Ireland’s legal system".
— RTÉ (@rte) August 22, 2016
You can also catch Amy Huberman in Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, RTÉ2’s six-part darkly comic drama penned by TV newcomer Stefanie Preissner and also starring up-and-coming talents Seána Kerslake and Nika McGuigan.
There's 'My Mother and Other Strangers', which is a BBC series set in Northern Ireland and follows the fortunes of the Coyne family and their neighbours as they struggle to maintain a normal life after a huge US Air Force airfield, populated by 4,000 service men and women, lands in the middle of their rural parish in 1943.
Other new shows include RTÉ One’s Painting the Nation, an eight-part search for very best amateur painter in Ireland presented by Pauline McLynn, EastEnders spin-off drama Redwater starring Jessie Wallace, Shane Richie, Fionnula Flanagan and Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Celebrity Operation Transformation, which begins shortly.
The Rubberbandits will have a new series in a follow up to their Guide to the 1916 Rising, called The Rubberbandits’ Guides. Des Bishop will have a new show called Des Bishop: This is Ireland, where he "will throw a wry eye over the issues that have exasperated the country for years".
There will be a sports quiz panel show called Know The Score, presented by Jacqui Hurley where two teams of A-list sporting legends go against each other in a battle to find the ultimate sports ‘know all’.
Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip moves from UTV Ireland to RTE1 for a new series of their popular show, while country music singer Nathan Carter has landed a new four-part music-entertainment series.
One of RTE's major successes for 2016 was of course First Dates Ireland, so fans will be happy to know it will be returning for 12 new episodes later in the year. Maître d Mateo was also there at the launch today *swoon*.
New lifestyle shows include: Then Comes Marriage? putting couples through relationship bootcamp, you can follow the Irish diaspora abroad with #Missing You, Making it Down Under and Tastes Like Home; while there's an emotionally charged observational documentary called The Pet Surgeons.
Other upcoming documentaries on the way include;
- Kenny - A landmark two-part documentary charting the rise, fall and rise again of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
- Keeping Ireland Alive - The health service in a day, with 75 cameras following frontline staff over a 24-hour period to give viewers an unprecedented, groundbreaking insight into a service that affects all our lives.
- Rural Addiction - Tackling the growing problem of addiction sweeping rural Ireland.
- Generation Jinxed – Generation F’D, a three part documentary revealing life for Ireland’s 25-35-year-olds, struggling to kickstart their adult lives.
- Vogue Williams – On the Edge, whereby the presenter nvestigates the growth in body dysmorphia, drugs culture, online bullying and transgenderism in four-parter.
- Kevin McGahern’s America - Brand new series featuring Kevin McGahern exploring various aspects of life in America including gun rights, intimacy in the digital age and whether you really can choose your family.
- How Ireland was Bought and Sold - Ian Kehoe investigates how a handful of international megafunds have bought billions of euro in Irish debt, giving them control of thousands of businesses, homes and massive amounts of development land.
- Medication Nation with Dr. Eva - With more and more Irish people turning to prescription pills and over the counter medicines to cope with a variety of ailments, Dr Eva Orsmond investigates the growing problem of addiction to legal drugs and whether our use is turning to misuse.
- We Need to Talk About Dad - Brendan Courtney discovers the truth about how we, as a nation, treat our elderly and the inequalities in the system as he and his family explore care options for his father.
- Body Shopping - Dr. Ciara Kelly takes a look at the growing demand for cosmetic surgery and finds out who’s buying, who’s selling and what are the risks, as nine Irish men and women prepare to go under the knife.
- Scáil An Daonlathais - Fifty-five years after the establishment of RTÉ and in the wake of historic elections on both sides of the Atlantic, this documentary presented by Harry McGee asks whether television has purified or perverted the way our politicians perform their public duties.
- Henry Shefflin: Winning - Kilkenny hurling legend Henry Shefflin gets to the heart of what it takes to be a winner, discussing the winner's mindset with high achievers and looking at the neuroscience of success across sport, business and politics.
- Autism and Me - One-off documentary giving a rare insight into Autism, a condition often misunderstood, through the personal testimonies and experiences of Irish children, teenagers and young adults on the spectrum.
- Who Will Be President? - As US voters go to the polls following one of the most controversial campaigns in recent years, RTÉ's Washington Correspondent Caitriona Perry presents a special documentary profile of the two presidential candidates - who are they and what they stand for, including interviews with key supporters.
- Trinity - With unprecedented access, this four-part documentary series brings viewers deep inside an academic world never before explored on Irish television, offering a fascinating glimpse of a great Irish institution at work. Supported by the BAI’s Sound & Vision Fund.
- Hacked - Keelin Shanley looks at the risks society faces from cyber-criminals as we live more and more of our lives online.
- John Connors: The Travellers - Actor, activist and Traveller, John Connors reveals the history of his own people, as recorded and archived by a team of Irish Travellers in conjunction with the National Folklore Collection in UCD.
- The Connectors - Ireland’s digital champion, Oscar winner Lord David Puttnam, presents this four-part series looking at the opportunities and challenges presented by science and contemporary technology to all aspects of Irish society.
- Find Me a Home - Six-part observational documentary series following the trials and tribulations of those trying to buy, rent or sell a home in the current property market.
- Atlantic - New documentary film, narrated by Brendan Gleeson, following the changing fortunes of small fishing villages in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland, with oil majors driving deeper into fragile seas and super trawlers pushing fish stocks to the brink.
Also returning are; Better Off Abroad, Liveline: Call Back, Crimecall, Living the Wildlife, What in the World, Scannal, The Geansaí, Building Ireland, Would You Believe? and The Meaning of Life, with Gay Byrne.
The Reality Bites series returns too with;
Reality Bites: Miss Nigeria - Ireland Former Mr World Kamal Ibrahim looks at the Miss Nigeria-Ireland pageant, a Rose of Tralee for Ireland’s Nigerian community and one of the most celebrated events in their calendar.
Reality Bites: Paying for Sex - Looking at prostitution from all sides, from people who want make it a crime in Ireland to pay for sex to those who want sex work decriminalised completely.
Reality Bites: Carrick-on-Stag - We join brides & grooms-to-be as they embark on one last raucous weekend before they get married to get the real story of what goes down on these rites of passage.
Reality Bites: Asking For It. Author Louise O’Neill tackles rape culture, exploring entrenched attitudes toward casual sex, slut shaming and the rise in sexual assault and rape in Irish society today.
Reality Bites: Fallout Boy. When Colm Flynn’s family fostered a little boy with disabilities from Belarus, they fell in love with him but attempts to adopt him failed. In this documentary Colm goes on a very personal journey to discover why his almost-little-brother Banni was taken back and what happened to him.
Reality Bites: Only Gay in the Village - A heartfelt, intimate portrait of what it’s like to be lesbian, gay or bisexual in rural Ireland post-marriage referendum. The reality is both shockingly sad and uplifting.
Reality Bites: John Connors’ America: Race Matters - No stranger to discrimination, John Connors travels to America to look at why young black men are nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police.
There's new American drama on the way too, with Shonda Rhimes new showThe Catch, starring Big Love’s Mireille Enos and Six Feet Under’s Peter Krause, while the likes of Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Homeland, Elementary and Criminal Minds
There's also 'Spooky Stakeout – The Movie' a feature-length family adventure movie produced for RTÉ by Tailored Films which sees four young ghost-hunting schoolfriends hired to solve the mystery of an ancient castle in rural Ireland a feature-length family adventure movie produced for RTÉ by Tailored Films.
Finally, there's RTÉ Animated Shorts Scheme ’16, which sees five new animated shorts from Irish companies commissioned under this new scheme including: The Last Wrangler (Whackala Ltd); Urban Tails – Madra Rua (Pink Kong Studios); The Totally Normal Everyday Adventures of Slaps & Sandbags (Treehouse Republic); Don’t Forget the Bread (Wiggleywoo Productions); and Dunky’s Farm (Studio Pow Wow).
Channel controller for RTÉ One and RTÉ2, Adrian Lynch said:
"2016 has already been a huge year for RTÉ television, as we celebrated and commemorated the centenary of 1916, followed by the General Election, the Euros and the Olympics. This new season will continue to deliver distinctly Irish programming - everything from high quality homegrown drama to groundbreaking documentaries alongside unparalleled news, current affairs and sports coverage. With 35 new factual programmes in this year’s line-up, RTÉ Television will cast an unflinching eye on a broad range of themes affecting Irish life."