RTÉ's autumn schedule to include 25 new series, documentaries


Six new home-produced dramas, a documentary on cocaine use in Ireland and a new series which follows the progress of 15 Irish children from birth have been announced as part of RTÉ Television's autumn and winter schedule.

An RTÉ spokeswoman said that the unveiling of 25 new series and documentaries was "unprecedented" in the broadcaster's history and was a result of the investment made following the licence fee increase five years ago.

Prosperity, a four-part series written by the makers of the film Adam and Paulwhich chronicles life on the margins of the Celtic Tiger, will be one of the feature dramas, as will Eden, a feature-length adaptation of Eugene O'Brien's play about a couple celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.

The State broadcaster has also unveiled a number of comedy programmes, an area which has often proved problematic for RTÉ in the past.

Podge and Rodge, The Paneland Naked Cameraall return. No Laughing Matter, a romantic comedy co-written by Stuart Carolan, and The English Class, a spoof documentary series which follows the lives of a group of immigrant students, will be also be aired, as will Langerland.tv, a new series of five-minute animations about topical issues.

There will be seven new lifestyle series this season. Joe Duffy will present Highly Recommended, which will look at consumer issues.

On RTÉ One, Class Act, presented by Síle Seoige and Aidan Power, will showcase young talent, while the reality television format receives another make-over, this time with Celebrity Bainisteoir, where eight celebrities go head-to-head while managing a GAA team.

The Pope's Childrenauthor David McWilliams returns with a three-part documentary, Generation Game, about the tensions created by the Celtic Tiger.

Also scheduled are High Society, a two-part series on cocaine abuse in Ireland, Web of Desire, a documentary about Ireland's growing underworld of internet sex and dating, and a fly-on-the-wall series called Shane & Sheena: A Boyz Own Weddingabout the marriage of former Boyzone member Shane Lynch and childhood sweetheart Sheena White.

Former minister of state Liz O'Donnell, who lost her seat in the last general election, presents a new series of Far Away Up Close, about some of the projects supported by Irish overseas development aid.

George Lee will present a programme about China to mark the Olympic year.

The Late Late Showwill have a new set, while Tubridy Tonightreturns and Seoige & O'Sheawill have a live audience.