Given the breadth and volume of television programmes being made by RTÉ to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising – and because there are only so many hours in the television day – it's not surprising that at least one is being screened before the year has begun.
Ireland's Rising, a four-part series still in production, kicks off on Sunday, November 29th. In what sounds like an engaging and accessible idea, broadcasters Ryan Tubridy and Anne Doyle, actor Fiona Shawand football manager Jim McGuinness go back to their native counties to explore events that link that county with the rising. It's an in-house Rising-themed programme that could be subtitled: Who Do You Think They Were?
At the launch of the impressive commemorative programme of TV, radio, and online content as well as major public events, there was little information about scheduling for any of the programmes, with much speculation about when the major five-part drama series Rebellion would be shown.
The 2½-minute trailer for Rebellion screened at the launch revealed strong acting, action and an authentic-looking class period drama.
RTÉ was not forthcoming on the scheduling, although going on the previous high viewing figures home-grown drama has achieved for the station on Sunday evenings in the dreary month of January, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if it started on January 3rd or the following Sunday.
In January 2014 the final episode of Amber, the missing-girl drama, pulled in close to 800,000 viewers, while in January this year the first episode of Charlie, a drama about Charles Haughey, pulled in an average of 851,700 viewers.