Home-grown shows central to RTÉ autumn-winter schedule

New documentaries, entertainment and lifestyle shows announced at launch of TV season

 Ryan Tubridy with Miriam O’Callaghan, Kathryn Thomas and Claire Byrne pictured at the Bord Gais Theatre at the launch of the new season’s shows for RTÉ. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Ryan Tubridy with Miriam O’Callaghan, Kathryn Thomas and Claire Byrne pictured at the Bord Gais Theatre at the launch of the new season’s shows for RTÉ. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.


RTÉ is investing more in TV drama production this year than it has done in over six years, acting managing director of television Dermot Horan has said.

Mr Horan was speaking at the launch of a wide slate of new and returning television programmes for the broadcaster’s new autumn and winter schedules.

More than 65 new home-produced programmes, ranging from a two-part documentary on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to a series seeking to find Ireland’s best amateur painter, were announced on Monday .

“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,” said Adrian Lynch, controller of RTÉ1 and RTÉ2.

Frontline health staff all over the country were followed by 75 cameras for a 24-hour period for the flagship observational documentary Keeping Ireland Alive: The health service in a day.

Other major factual programmes will cover subjects such as rural drug addiction, the international funds which have bought up Irish debt, and the world of cosmetic surgery.

A three-part documentary, Generation Jinxed — Generation F’D, will look at what life is like for Ireland’s 25 to 35-year-olds, while the similarly-themed Generation What? aims to deliver a “definitive picture of what makes Millennials tick”.

There are also authored documentaries on subjects including the history of Travellers and the Kilkenny hurling star Henry Shefflin.

Two new dramas will air during the autumn: the four-part Striking Out stars Neil Morrissey and Amy Huberman against the backdrop of Ireland’s legal system.

Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope is a “darkly comic” six-parter starring up-and-coming talents Seána Kerslake and Nika McGuigan.

Production is also due to commence on Acceptable Risk, a thriller starring Elaine Cassidy, and Resistance, a War of Independence drama from the makers of the Easter Rising series Rebellion.

RTÉ will also be showing the BBC drama Redwater, and the Barry Devlin-penned My Mother and Other Strangers, set in Northern Ireland in 1943, as a rural parish struggles to cope with the arrival of thousands of American servicemen to a military base.

In January, the Irish version of the international format Dancing with the Stars (based on the BBC’s Strictly Come dancing) will begin on RTÉ1.

Other entertainment offerings include the return of The Tommy Tiernan Show and the arrival on RTÉ of Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip.

“Our role as the national broadcaster is to deliver programming that captivates and inspires the broader population and I believe this new line-up delivers on that promise,” said Mr Horan at the launch, which was attended by high-profile presenters including Claire Byrne, Miriam O’Callaghan and Daniel O’Donnell.

The line-up includes:

-Kenny: A two-part documentary charting the rise, fall and rise again of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

-Keeping Ireland Alive: The health service in a day: 75 cameras followed frontline staff over a 24-hour period to give viewers an unprecedented insight into a service that affects all our lives.

-Rural Addiction: A look at the growing problem of addiction 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.

- Medication Nation with Dr Eva: Dr Eva Orsmond on prescription pill addiction in Ireland

- John Connors: The Travellers: John Connors on the history of the Travellers

- How Ireland was Bought and Sold

- Henry Shefflin: Winning: The hurling star on the psychology of success

- Generation What?: A two-part documentary on what makes Millennials tick based on the results of an RTÉ2 survey of 18-34-year-olds.

- Vogue Williams – On the Edge: Vogue Williams investigates the growth in body dysmorphia, drugs culture, online bullying and transgenderism in this four-parter

- Reality Bites: Asking for It: Author Louise O’Neill tackles the issue of consent

-Striking Out: Neil Morrissey joins Amy Huberman and Rory Keenan in the cast of this four-part drama about love, family and friendship in the world of Ireland’s legal system.

- Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope: RTÉ2’s six-part darkly comic drama written by TV newcomer Stefanie Preissner and starring up-and-coming talents Seána Kerslake and Nika McGuigan.

-The Tommy Tiernan Show: A six-part chatshow where Tiernan has no idea who he’ll be interviewing before they appear on stage.

- The Nathan Carter Show: Four-part music-entertainment show hosted by the country star.

- First Dates: The popular dating show returns with a 12 episode series.

- Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip: Duo hit the road again with 12 new B&B owners serving up unforgettable experiences.

- The Rubberbandits’ Guides: The Rubberbandits return to RTÉ2 for more anarchic comedy

- Des Bishop: This is Ireland: Comedian throws a wry eye over the issues that have exasperated the country

- Painting the Nation: an eight-part search for very best amateur painter in Ireland presented by Pauline McLynn

- A Grand Design: The National Gallery Reborn is a documentary on the largest conservation and restoration project in the history of the state.

- Then Comes Marriage?: Couples go through relationship bootcamp

- Bernard Dunne’s Mythical Heroes: The former world champion boxer brings Irish mythology to life at sites across Ireland