RTÉ launched its TV Spring Season today with Dragons' Den, The Good Wife and the IFTA Awards top of the heap. There are also new documentaries about the Titanic, Nuala O’Faolain and Ireland’s economic future.
“The RTÉ Television spring schedule brings viewers a comprehensive range of home-produced programming with everything from big entertainment shows to young people’s programming catering for pre-schoolers to teenagers, from Irish and international drama to major documentaries, from top quality sporting action and analysis to a revamped Arts schedule, from popular lifestyle shows to Irish language programmes and more,” said Glen Killane, MD RTÉ Television.
The RTÉ Factual stable includes a number of intriguing shows include Saving the Titanic, a major new international co-production that chronicles the life and death of the doomed liner which sank 100 years ago this April. The what-if documentary, Ireland Outside the Euro?, imagines a nation cast adrift from the single currency; while John Bowman’s two-part documentary charting RTÉ’s relationship with church and state, provisionally titled Into the Light: the Battles that Shaped Our TV, will be screened as part of TV50 later in the Spring. There will also be a major new documentary on the late Nuala O’Faolain.
With Sean Gallagher out of the den, there will be a new dragon on screen for the return of the popular reality show. Otherwise the formula remains the same with hopeful Irish entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to five successful and stony-faced venture capitalists.
RTÉ will be covering the biggest film and television awards show on this island, the IFTAs, with the stories from the red carpet, the award-winners and the glitzy ceremony.
The savage The Republic of Telly returns, as does the independent republic that is The Savage Eye. There are also new series of The Social, Other Voices and Reality Bites: the true-life show that covers the gamut of modern Irish life from the free-falling property market to the burgeoning rap scene.
John Kelly is the ringmaster of a a revamped arts review show called The Works in which he will be joined by Sinéad Gleeson, Nadine O’Regan and Kevin Gildea. There will also be a number of major Arts commissions throughout Spring including profiles of Edna O’Brien and Finbar Furey and Ballymun Lullaby, the award-winning musical documentary that follows music teacher Ron Cooney on a journey of creating a collection of music that aims to bring the community of Ballymun together.
With Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and Golden Globe winner Homeland already up and running, this spring will see return of return of The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Mentalist and the critically acclaimed thriller, Revenge.
“We are always striving to bring the Irish public programmes of real relevance and impact,” continued Killane. “As Ireland’s public service broadcaster we were delighted to finish 2011 on a high as we topped the Christmas and New Year ratings. Already in January we have seen RTÉ programmes attract big audiences with The Voice of Ireland getting average audiences of 698,000 and popular drama Raw with 532,000 viewers. We look forward to another great year in 2012.”