TV3 autumn schedule focuses on news and current affairs

Forty per cent of output home-produced but peak weekend viewing all imported

TV3 chief executive David McRedmond said that despite setbacks and obstacles in the advertising market, “TV3 continues to move forward and grow at a greater scale than ever before. Our strength lies in our people and our passion for producing TV that not only entertains but also represents our audience.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

TV3 chief executive David McRedmond said that despite setbacks and obstacles in the advertising market, “TV3 continues to move forward and grow at a greater scale than ever before. Our strength lies in our people and our passion for producing TV that not only entertains but also represents our audience.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Thu, Aug 15, 2013, 15:28

TV3 is to place a heavier emphasis on news and current affairs in its autumn schedule, launched today at the television station’s new state-of-the-art studio in Ballymount, Co Dublin.

Documentaries will be a major part of this focus, including a two-part programme on Sinn Féin and another two-parter to mark the 30th anniversary of late former taoiseach Charlie Haughey’s “Gubu” year.

The Kennedys’ Irish Mafia marks the 50th anniversary of the visit of John F Kennedy to Ireland and his assassination in 1963.

A new factual series, Publish and Be Damned, looks at the history of Irish newspapers and the stories behind the headlines, while Tonight with Vincent Browne remains a cornerstone of the commercial station’s political coverage.

Other series will include Prison Families, Ireland’s Tiger Raids,Black Widows and a return of 24 Hours to Kill.

TV3 says it has promised to deliver more than 2,252 hours of Irish broadcasting. Director of content Jeff Ford said he would be commissioning more home-produced programmes and relying less on acquired shows. “Building on the 40 per cent of our schedule that is home produced, we will offer an honest, inclusive reflection of Irish society,” he said.

The station will however look elsewhere for its peak Saturday and Sunday night viewing, with British imports Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, X Factor, The Cube, Graham Norton, Dancing on Ice and Britain’s Got Talent.

Home grown-programming will include At Home with the Healy-Raes, a look at the South Kerry political family, and series including the first Irish Celebrity Apprentice featuring the likes of Amanda Brunker and Nick Leeson, the former derivatives broker who caused the collapse of Barings Bank.

Other new offerings include The Great Irish Bake Off presented by Anna Nolan, Midwives which looks at the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, and a series, Keith Barry: Brain Hacker.

Sports coverage will include the groups stages of the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League on both TV3 and 3e on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the season, with the two finals in Lisbon and Turin.

The station will have exclusive coverage of the GAA All-Ireland minor football and hurling championship finals.

Daytime TV will include three new broadcasters - Anton Savage, who will join the Ireland AM team; Lucy Kennedy, who will join Martin King on a new afternoon show, Late Lunch Live; and Claire Solan, who will be a roving reporter on the show.

TV3 chief executive David McRedmond said that despite setbacks and obstacles in the advertising market, “TV3 continues to move forward and grow at a greater scale than ever before. Our strength lies in our people and our passion for producing TV that not only entertains but also represents our audience.”