Broadcast News


TV3 is to broadcast highlights from its current affairs show Agenda every Sunday at noon for the next eight weeks, beginning tomorrow. Eyebrows might be raised at the very notion of re-running current affairs programmes, but we're assured that the highlights chosen are sufficiently timeless and interesting to warrant a second viewing. The shows are not simply repeats, but edited versions of interviews and discussions.

In its two-year life, Agenda has been successful in getting access to an eclectic bunch of high-profile guests, including London's mayor Ken Livingstone, former tennis star John McEnroe, Body Shop founder Anita Ruddick and actor Woody Harrelson.

Tomorrow's programme takes a look back on interviews with Shirley Conran, Tony Benn, Denis O'Brien and Dr Jay Belsky, the controversial psychologist and childcare expert. Agenda is produced by Fastnet Films for TV3 and presented by economist David McWilliams.

MTV is gearing up to celebrate its 20th birthday at the beginning of August with a range of events including a concert featuring stars from the past two decades of pop music. MTV20: Live and Almost Legal aims to represent every popular music genre with performances by a plethora of very different artists. The three-hour concert will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York and feature, among others, Mariah Carey, TLC, Jane's Addiction and Billy Idol. It will be broadcast live on MTV. The music channel will also broadcast 12 straight hours of chronological videos from the past 20 years in a show entitled MTV20: Buggles to Bizkit.

MTV became the first ever television channel dedicated to music when it was launched at midday on August 1st, 1981. For Irish audiences, the first taste of music television came with the arrival of MT USA on Sunday afternoons in February 1984. The late Vincent Hanley, aka Fab Vinny, presented the three-hour show from New York. It was broadcast on the then RT╔ 2 (now Network 2) and was the first music video show to be shown in Europe. At the time, record companies saw music videos as expensive gimmicks rather than as promotional tools, and charged high premiums for their use on TV. MT USA was produced by production company Green Apple (now Radius TV) and ran for four seasons until February 1987.

Radio drama in Irish returns to RT╔ Radio 1 after a five-year absence with a new series starting next Monday at 9.30 p.m. Ardβn san Aer consists of six half-hour radio plays from writers Cathal ╙ Searcaigh, Liam ╙ Muirthile, Biddy Jenkinson, Dave Duggan, Alan Titley and Pβdhraic ╙ Giollagβin.

RT╔ radio specifically commissioned established writers in Irish in other disciplines, such as poetry, prose and stage drama, to write some of the plays. They cover a diverse range of subjects from loss and restitution (Joe S'againne by Dave Duggan) to lesbianism (Slβinte na bhFear by Biddy Jenkinson). The casts include Mick Lally, ┴ine N∅ Mhuir∅ and Macdara ╙ Fatharta and the series producer is Cathal P≤irtΘir.

There's good news for Sopranos addicts this week, with US network HBO confirming there will be another series of the hit show. The programme's creator, David Chase, has signed a multi-million dollar deal with the network to produce a fifth series of the mafia drama. Sopranos has received a record 22 Emmy nominations, which is more than any other cable or network show. White House drama The West Wing picked up 18 nominations. Both shows are nominated in American TV's top category for best drama, along with ER, The Practice and Law & Order. The Emmys, awarded by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, will be broadcast on September 16th in a ceremony hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.