Autumn is coming - so here’s what you can look forward to on the box
There are plenty of new additions to the line-ups on Irish TV.
In the past week, both TV3 and RTÉ announced their new season schedules - and seeing what’s coming up has definitely helped to ease the back-to-school blues.
What’s coming up on TV3 and 3e?
The biggest announcement at the TV3 launch was that Ireland’s Got Talent has finally arrived, with Louis Walsh, Jason Byrne, Denise Van Outen and Michelle Visage taking the judges seats.
There are also two new shows for the romantics among us. Firstly, Al Porter will host the much-loved Blind Date, while Maia Dunphy is fronting Heartbreak Hotel, in which singletons gather to discuss why they may have been unlucky in love.
Fans of mid-nineties hit Changing Rooms will be pleased to see Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen back on their screens, with Showhouse Showdown, which sets two professional interior designers the challenge of decorating two identical properties in a new development.
In terms of sport, Tuesday night’s biggest UEFA Champions League games will return live to TV3 this autumn, opening with Manchester Utd v Basel on Tuesday, September 12th.
Meanwhile, popular shows like Ireland AM, Xpose, The Six O’Clock Show__Living with Lucy, Gogglebox Ireland, The Restaurant, The Pat Kenny Show, Smalltown and Red Rock will all be back on our screens.
TV3 will also have more original and commissioned Irish drama than ever before, including Darklands - a crime drama set amidst a gang-war in Dublin’s inner-city - and The Bailout, covering the story of Ireland’s government, led by Brian Cowen, in the lead up to the bailout.
And there’s a new focus on news and current affairs, with the new 3News Hub studio, as well as a Sunday current affairs programmes fronted by journalist Sarah McInerney.
Most avid TV watchers will now that Vincent Browne has left his night-time current affairs show, but The Tonight Show will be back to take its place in September with presenters Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates. And the True Lives documentary strand will be back, covering topics such as murder-suicide in Ireland.
It’s great to see the focus on new Irish entertainment, but fans will also be pleased to see that TV3 will still be the Irish broadcaster of some of the biggest UK shows including The X-Factor, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent.
What shows can I look forward to on RTÉ?
RTÉ has announced a whopping 60 brand new shows, as well as returning favourites.
For those who enjoyed last year’s line-up, the good news is that Dancing With the Stars, First Dates, Celebrity Operation Transformation, and Striking Out will all be back.
In terms of new additions, there’s lots to look forward to, with drama series Acceptable Risk, three-part documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic, and the comedy series Young Offenders, based on the movie of the same name.
Alison Spittle will also be fronting her own comedy show, Nowhere Fast, about a woman who ends up living back in the town she grew up in. And there’s more new comedy, too, with mockumentary The School, about a fictional school preparing for their nativity play.
There’s been a lot of talk about Ends Meet, which is RTÉ’s first adult animation series. It follows three generations of Irish men living together in Dublin and is sure to be a hit.
And there’s plenty in the real-life category too, with a four-part series covering medical emergencies in Ireland, as well as Ireland’s Health Divide, fronted by Dr. Eva Osmond, and This Crowded House, which takes a look at issues facing Irish people trying to leave the nest.
Sports documentaries also have a part to play, with The Axel Foley Story, and Shergar, about the well-known horse kidnapping.
And let’s not forget the ever-popular reality TV titles. For the first time ever, we’ll be treated to an Irish version of Say Yes to the Dress, which should make for interesting viewing, and there’s also a new show called Salon Confidential, about a hair salon.
As well as homegrown shows, RTÉ has also acquired plenty of content from overseas, such as Homeland, Grey’s Anatomy, Vikings, and Mr Mercedes, based on the Stephen King novel, and starring Brendan Gleeson.
RTÉ2 is also getting on board with the popularity of Scandinavian TV, Ride Upon the Storm, the latest from the creator of Borgen, as well as thriller Below the Surface-, and detective series _Mammon.
And, one final new show which is worth mentioning is WeatherWatch Live. We can never get enough of talking about the weather in this country, and this show will be a live event broadcast across three nights on just that topic.
What other highlights are coming up on TV in Autumn?
Aside from the Irish channels, there’s plenty of other great new content coming up in the Autumn months.
The Peep Show team of David Mitchell and Robert Webb are back on our screens with comedy Back. on Channel 4. And Tim Roth is fronting new drama Tin Star, alongside Christina Hendricks on Sky Atlantic.
Meanwhile, Victoria is back on ITV for a second season, and David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II will be coming to BBC.
Make sure you have the best TV deal
Before the cold, dark nights really come in, take a look at your TV plan and see if it’s right for your viewing habits.
Chances are, if you haven’t switched TV deals in a while, you will save money, and potentially get extra channels or additional features by doing so.