RTÉ Comedy, Talent Development & Music



Head of Comedy, Talent Development & Music: Eddie Doyle

Executive Producer - Justin Healy

Updated - 23rd February 2016



This department is responsible for commissioning Comedy output for RTÉ ONE, RTÉ2, and Online.
The secondary function of this department is to develop new and existing Presenting and Production Talent. This department also handles Music output on both channels, and on RTÉ's Digital platforms.


Making people laugh is an unusually Irish vocation. We have an extraordinary level of writing and performing talent, production and editorial skills, and Irish audiences have an unquestionable appetite for quality comedy.

Comedy production is one of the most pure forms of creativity, and it requires taking bigger risks. But when these risks pay off, they can generate the biggest wins for RTÉ, such as channel defining content (Damo & Ivor, Mrs Browns Boys), new ways of reaching audiences, especially on-line (Republic of Telly, The Mario Rosenstock Show), strong youthful public service statements (Savage Eye, Irish Pictorial Weekly) and generate additional commercial revenue.

We are now looking for proposals that can build on recent successes. Ideas that break new talent, or generate new opportunities for existing talent. Coherent development phases will be prioritized, as will pragmatic budgets and finance plans - including BAI and Co-production Opportunities (especially with the UK Comedy Industry). Projects that maximize RTÉ's cross-platform offering will be of particular interest.


So what are we looking for?

On RTÉ ONE Comedy output can build an emotional connection with mainstream audiences, helping to give the channel a lighter, contemporary feel, to augment the more heavyweight News, Current Affairs and Factual programmes. Proposals that can bring large audiences, but which also help reposition RTÉ ONE as a confident, modern brand at the heart of contemporary Irish life. Big talent, strong writing, confident warm tone and contemporary family appeal are key. We have had success on the recent past with a mix of big, broad family friendly comedy (Mrs Browns Boys, Killinaskully), topical and satirical comedy (Irish Pictorial Weekly, Mario Rosenstock Show), alongside some comedy formats and quirky comedy and comedy drama (Trivia, The Walshes). We are interested in finding and developing new projects in these spaces.

RTÉ2 has refocused on the 15-34 audience, and the programmes commissioned in recent years, such as Damo & Ivor, and The Republic of Telly are at the core of the channel's brand. These are high quality Irish comedy statements, aimed definitively and unapologetically at this youthful audience. They stand out in the crowded multi-channel environment, and also respond to the increasingly multi-platform viewing habits of the young. We are interested in new scripted, formatted and talent-driven comedy for this audience, focusing on the core channel brand.

On both channels, we are interested, on an ongoing basis, in comedy projects that can be co-produced by RTÉ and another broadcaster - following the financing model of projects like Mrs Browns Boys and The Walshes. In these cases, RTÉ partnered with the BBC to develop, produce and fund the projects.

This has influenced our overall comedy strategy, and one of our core ambitions is to act as a bridge and partner for Irish comedy talent, into larger marketplaces - primarily the UK. To that end, we are engaging proactively with a variety of potential partner broadcasters in the UK, and we now want to identify new projects (often in the scripted comedy territory) to co-develop.

We are happy to discuss a variety of budgets and production timeframes, on a case-by-case basis. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Separately, on both channels, we are interested on an ongoing basis, in projects which provide an opportunity to innovate with new or existing talent (primarily comedy talent), for example placing a high profile individual in a new format or talent vehicle. As above, given that innovation is key to our plans, we are happy to discuss a variety of budgets and production timeframes, on a case-by-case basis.

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.


Sundays at 21.30 on RTÉ ONE.

Transmission: Sunday Nights 21:30 - Autumn 2016

Budget: 100K-110K per hour.

RTE TV's Comedy, Talent Development & Music Department is looking for new programme ideas for Sundays at 21.30 on RTÉ ONE.

Successful ideas will be considered for slots in the Autumn of 2016. (These slots are 'contestable' with other RTE departments (Entertainment and Lifestyle).

This is an extremely prominent and important slot, and RTÉ ONE has been particularly successful with high quality programmes which have offered a 'treat' for audiences, at this point of the weekend. In particular, Lifestyle content like Room to Improve, Popular Factual programmes like George Lee's Better Off Abroad, and Drama output like Love/Hate have been high-end, dynamic productions, which drove significant audiences to RTÉ ONE.

We are now interested in augmenting this material with new ideas, either talent driven or formatted. Escapist, location-driven programmes, with likeable, high-profile Irish talent at the core will be of interest. We will also consider formats that have worked internationally, and which have a contemporary, irreverent tone. Other ideas that offer a more novel or innovative approach to this slot will also be considered. Ideally, these will be programmes with a key comic talent at the core, or a format with a light-hearted, energetic tone.

Deadline: 12 noon on Friday 08th April 2016. (Strict Deadline)

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category "Comedy Music Talent - Sundays 21.30 Autumn 2016"



We are interested in creative proposals for music programming, to augment our current output. Programmes like Other Voices on RTÉ2 and The Imelda May Show, Fleadh Cheoil, and The Transatlantic Sessions on RTÉ ONE have delivered mainstream audiences. Proposals for low cost or fully funded music programming (perhaps with a commercial sponsor on board) will be of interest, as will proposals which have a digital component.

Music-based proposals that can draw a significant audience, or make an on-brand, noisy statement for the target audience on either channel will be of interest for the Contestable Slots on RTÉ ONE and RTÉ2.

Projects that can potentially secure BAI funding, or co-production finance are also of interest.
We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category "Comedy Music & Talent - Music"


Format Farm

We are always looking for ideas that can be developed or commissioned for Format Farm. For more information on Format Farm please click here

Please note:

The discussion of, or initial interest in, a proposal does not represent a commitment to commission by RTÉ and should not be understood as such. Commissioning decisions will reflect the quality of proposals received and the scheduling priorities operating at the time. RTÉ's financial position will also be a factor.


Any proposals previously submitted to RTÉ in categories listed here, and which were rejected on a first reading in a previous Round, should not be re-submitted and will not be reconsidered.


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