RTÉ and TV3 have announced their autumn schedules

TV fans have plenty to look forward to

Maeve McLaughlin
by Maeve McLaughlin on 7th September, 2016

Although we’ve seen a bit of a throwback to summery weather this week, there’s no doubting that we’re well and truly coming into autumn.

And hand-in-hand with that comes the annual autumn battle for TV viewers. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had the launches of both RTÉ and TV3’s autumn/winter schedules, and it’s fair to say there’s something in there for everyone.


The focus of RTÉ’s launch was on three brand-new dramas, which the broadcaster says represents its biggest spend in this area in six years. They are:

  • Striking Out, a four-part drama starring Amy Huberman and Neil Morrissey;
  • Acceptable Risk, a six-part thriller starring Elaine Cassidy and written by Emmy-award winning screenwriter Ron Hutchinson; and
  • Resistance, a War of Independence drama from the makers of the recent 1916 drama Rebellion.

Fans of The Fall will be pleased to see it’s back for a third season, while anyone who has had withdrawal symptoms since First Dates Ireland ended is in for a treat as it will soon be back on our screens. Other returning shows include Room to Improve, Operation Transformation , Bridget and Eamon and The Rubberbandits’ Guides.

RTÉ2’s popular Reality Bites series also continues with a four-part documentary series hosted by Vogue Williams covering topics including body dysmorphia, and author Louise O’Neill tackling the issue of consent in Reality Bites: Asking for It.

Other highlights include:

  • Keeping Ireland Alive, a no-holds barred look at the Irish health service filmed over 24 hours;
  • Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, a six-part darkly comic series;
  • EastEnders offshoot Redwater;
  • The Irish version of popular show Dancing with the Stars; and
  • Des Bishop’s This is Ireland which looks at issues that have exasperated the country for years.

There are also new shows from Tommy Tiernan and Nathan Carter to look forward to, while Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip will be making the move to RTÉ One.

And let’s not forget the formidable Mrs. Brown’s Boys, which will be back for more Christmas specials.


Much like RTÉ, TV3’s new schedule is a mix of familiar names, new faces and Irish versions of some major international formats.

The announcement that has probably made the biggest waves is the confirmation that Pat Kenny will be anchoring a new landmark current affairs programme on Wednesday nights, alongside Colette Fitzpatrick.

Mooted as TV3’s version of Prime Time, the show will provide in-depth analysis on national and international issues and will feature live interviews with the big newsmakers of the day in front of a studio audience.

There does seem to be a focus on current affairs in the new schedule. In addition to this new show, we’ll also see the nightly return of Vincent Browne in Tonight with Vincent Browne. while David McWilliams will front business show Agenda on Sunday afternoons.

There are also a number of familiar formats returning to TV3, or being shown for the first time, including:

  • X Factor, with Louis Walsh re-joining the judging panel alongside Simon Cowell, Sharon Osborne and Nicole Scherzinger;
  • Britain’s Got Talent;
  • Big Brother;
  • Celebrity Masterchef with new judges Robin Gill and Daniel Clifford; and
  • The long-awaited Irish version of Gogglebox, narrated by Deirdre O’Kane and Rory Cowan.

Living With Lucy is also back, with Lucy heading off to ‘live with’ Republic of Ireland footballer Shane Long, singer Kerry Katona and comedian Al Porter.

In terms of drama, fans of Red Rock will be pleased to see it back on our screens from next Monday, 12th September. It will now air once a week, on Mondays at 9.30pm.

There is also a good deal of originated drama and documentaries to look forward to, with six new productions premiering on TV3 this autumn, including Mammal, Emily, Cardboard Gangsters, A Date for Mad Mary, It’s Not Yet Dark and Fourth Act.

And TV3 have some new investigative series on the way, which should provide interesting viewing, including:

  • Paul Williams: The War on Crime, which compares the gangland events of 1996 with 2016; and
  • Donal MacIntyre: Unsolved in which a team of specialists investigate some of Ireland’s most infamous missing persons cases.

Savvy consumers will also be pleased to see that consumer champion Conor Pope will be fronting a new six-part show called Conor Pope’s Dodgy Dealers, in which Conor will confront companies who are misleading, mistreating and defrauding their customers.

And fear not, there’s still plenty of room in the line-up for favourites like, Ireland AM, Midday, The Seven O’Clock Show, Saturday AM, Sunday AM and Xposé.

So all in all, it looks like we’re in for a treat in terms of homegrown TV shows over the coming months.

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