TV preview: The Young Pope, Republic of Telly, The Taste of Success and more

Jude Law plonks into the Papal hotseat; RTE unveils a new comedy line-up for Mondays; The Taste of Success returns for a third series

Holy roller: Jude Law as  Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope, Sky Atlantic, Thursday, 9pm and 10.10pm

Holy roller: Jude Law as Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope, Sky Atlantic, Thursday, 9pm and 10.10pm


Monday, RTÉ Two, 9.30pm
Is this some kind of a joke? RTÉ are screening not one, but two hidden-camera prank shows this autumn, so beware of strangers approaching you with bizarre requests. If you weren’t in Mallorca over the summer, then you’re safe from the pranksters of Scorchio. They’re prowling the beaches and bars of Santa Ponsa, targeting Irish holidaymakers with their trickery. In the same vein as The Fear, Scorchio features a cast of unbelievable characters on a mission to push the bounds of credulity.

Monday, RTÉ Two, 10.30pm
The practical jokes continue in TMI, but this time the hunting grounds are social media sites. Stephen Byrne and his team of cyber-pranksters trawl through the social media posts of 18-25 year-olds, and use the copious information they find to set up some elaborate tricks to freak their victims out. You’ve ignored the warnings about posting too much information about yourself online – now, it’s about to come back and bite you on the apps.

Republic of Telly
Monday, RTÉ Two, 10pm
Sandwiched between Scorchio and TMI, Kevin McGahern is back to tuck into the week’s TV leftovers in a new series of Republic of Telly, and he has an all-star cast to help him cut through the meat’n’gristle of Irish life. In the first episode, Charlie Bird does a special report investigating how the Irish football fans are adjusting to life back on earth after the euphoria of the Euros. Model Vogue Williams hosts a special “Explose” from the Ploughing Championships. Bedding salesman Mattress Mick is magically transformed into Donald Trump, and country star Nathan Carter is the unfortunate singing guest on Carboot Karaoke.

The Taste of Success
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
It’s the ultimate foodie fight: 20 culinary entrepreneurs go head-to-head to get their product on the shelves at Lidl, but there’s only room on the shelf for one winner. The Taste of Success returns for its third series, with new mentors Roz Purcell and Eunice Power, and novel food ideas such as the “inside-out” burger. Dáithí Ó Sé hosts the nationwide search for the perfect product to add to our shopping baskets, with returning mentors Domini Kemp and JP McManus. In the first episode, model and foodie Ros Purcell mentors five contestants from the Leinster region, and will have to whittle them down to just two contenders to go into the next round.

Rural Addiction
Tuesday & Wednesday, RTÉ Two, 9.30pm
Drug addiction used to be a Dublin thing, and heroin didn’t really travel beyond the pale. But that has all changed, and rural towns such as Portlaoise and Mullingar have been ravaged by addiction, while services to help addicts in rural areas are woefully inadequate. Rural Addiction is a two-part documentary that explores how drugs have taken hold around the country, and looks at the lives of addicts in small rural towns, where everyone knows everyone else. Among them are Ali from Nenagh, her fiancé Brian and his brother Joe, who are trying to get clean and shake off the stigma of being known as junkies by the townspeople.

The Young Pope
Thursday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm and 10.10pm
Jude Law dons the papal vestments for this major new series telling the story of the first American pontiff who finds himself thrust into a world of ruthless political intrigue in the Vatican. Law plays Lenny Belardo aka Pope Pius XIII, who is not only the first American in the papal hotseat, but is also the youngest-ever pope, and a bit of a heartthrob who is sure to send few nuns’ hearts a-flutter. He also sends the powers-that-be into paroxysms when he puts forward some radical ideas to reform the Catholic church. Directed by Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino, the series also stars Diane Keaton as Lenny’s confidant Sister Mary.