Adrian Dunbar will star in new Irish psychological drama Blood, which was announced on Thursday as part of TV3’s new Autumn schedule.
The channel, which will rebrand as Virgin Media on August 30, will also be bringing back Ireland’s Got Talent, Red Rock, I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here!, The X-Factor, Living with Lucy, The Restaurant and Gogglebox Ireland.
Enniskillen-born Dunbar, who currently plays Superintendent Ted Hastings in the BBC One crime thriller Line of Duty, leads the cast of Blood, which was written by Sophie Petzal (Red Rock, The Last Kingdom, Riviera) and produced by Jonathan Fisher (Midsomer Murders, Lewis).
From August 30, TV3, 3e and be3 will be renamed Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Three and a new sport channel, VirginMedia Sport, will be available to Virgin Media customers and air a range of sports content.
The plans were unveiled at an official "Upfront" media launch on Thursday at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Thursday.
There will also a be a new 8.00pm nightly news bulletin fronted by Claire Brock. Ireland’s Got Talent, back for a second series early in 2019, is already looking for applicants.
The newly rebranded station will air over 450 football matches in the coming season, including UEFA Champions League, Europa League, qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 and fixtures for the UEFA Nations League.
New documentary series Inside James’s will look at life at Ireland’s biggest University Teaching Hospital, while The Town follows the lives of a range of families in Portlaoise. Simon Delaney will host Revolting Ireland, a look at the history of protests in Irish history, from the 1913 lockout to the recent abortion referendum.
Inside Ireland’s Biggest Prison goes inside the Midland’s Prison and meets the prisoners and those responsible for keeping them behind bars. The True Lives documentary series will also return for six new episodes and will include Donncha O’Callaghan’s Sporting Afterlife to David McWilliams: Back to the Future.
Speaking about the station rebrand, Tony Hanway, Group CEO of Virgin Media Ireland, said: "This move sees us strengthen our position as Irelands leading connected entertainment provider.
"Bringing together our broadband and broadcasting networks under the unique Virgin Media brand is an exciting development for our viewers, our customers and everyone in team Virgin Media."
TV3 group managing director Pat Kiely added: "As part of Virgin Media, TV3 group channels have grown in scale and quality. It’s now time to build on this momentum and move to Virgin Media Television.
"This is a natural evolution as we bring our channels and platform closer together."