RTÉ HAS announced its new season of entertainment across its channels, with the aim of the programming being to celebrate Irish culture, creativity and talent.
Some of the highlights include over 40 hours of new Irish drama, new factual content, comedy from online stars, a fresh season of sporting coverage and a host of Irish language, news and current affairs.
Also of note is a Brendan Gleeson-narrated three-part documentary about the Irish Civil War.
“Today, RTÉ’s new season launch is a celebration of Irish culture, Irish stories, and Irish creativity, while reflecting our vital role in creating a shared space for important discussion and debate, for supporting Irish talent, for celebration, for telling national stories and marking national moments," said Dee Forbes, Director General at RTÉ.
"With 40 hours of original Irish drama, this is RTÉ’s biggest drama slate to date and brings exciting new talent to our screens; live broadcasting remains central to our schedules and this is really to the fore in our selection of top class free-to-air live sport showcasing our national teams, national games and our athletes, and including all 64 games from the FIFA World Cup 2022; our strong offering of factual programmes tells uniquely Irish stories which consider many facets of Irish life and culture, while our schedule of arts and culture programming connects audiences with some of the great artists and musicians we have here in Ireland."
The drama output this season includes season two of the critically acclaimed Kin, as well as new series North Sea Connections, Sisters, The Dry, Clean Sweep and the return of Smother.
In the second season of Kin, the Kinsella clan make an eagerly anticipated return with stars Claire Dunne, Aidan Gillen, and Charlie Cox. The new season will see the Kinsellas as top dogs in Dublin, with killing Eamon Cunningham having created as many problems as it solved. Production is currently underway.
New comedy-drama The Dry, set in Dublin, written by Nancy Harris, and starring Roisin Gallagher, Moe Dunford, and Oscar-nominee Ciaran Hinds, tells a sometimes poignant and often hilarious tale of familial values and the lure of returning home. North Sea Connection is a contemporary thriller set within an isolated and traditional rural Irish fishing community in Connemara, starring Lydia McGuinness, Sinead Cusack, Kerr Logan and Alida Morberg.
Rising stars and new talent will hit screens in new comedy No Worries if Not, and a new series of Storyland aimed at developing new writing and directing talent will bring audiences new perspectives in four short dramas.
RTÉ’s factual series and documentaries this season will tell unique Irish stories documenting how we as nation now live, have lived in the past, and will live into the future, celebrating our culture and heritage and chronicling our ever changing society across all platforms.
The War at Home captures the experiences and emotions of Ukrainians travelling to Ireland and the Irish response to the crisis, while a DIY SOS Ukraine Special features Baz Ashmawy and his team of volunteers as they work against the clock to provide temporary housing for families fleeing the war-torn country.
Stardust examines the Stardust disaster in the context of fresh evidence being presented to the inquest. Arthur Gourounlian and Brian Dowling document their surrogacy journey in Brian and Arthur’s Very Modern Family. Saipan-Rebel Without a Ball asks how far the Irish team could have gone had Roy Keane stayed, while hurling stalwart Davy Fitz puts another group of teenagers through the mill for the greater good in Davy’s Toughest Team.
As the Decade of Centenaries comes to a close, this season also contains a diverse array of specialist content on the Irish Civil War and revolutionary Ireland available across television, radio and online. Highlights include The Irish Civil War, a three-part documentary series narrated by Brendan Gleeson and written and directed by Ruán Magan, and Two Tribespresented by Sean O’Rourke which follows the diverging paths taken by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the post-civil war landscape.
Entertainment, Music & Comedy
This new season will also deliver a fresh slate of entertainment, music and comedy that brings us together and celebrates our talent.
The brand-new comedy series No Worries if Not! brings a host of viral comedy stars including Justine Stafford, Emma Doran, and Michael Fry to RTÉ2. The Ultimate Irish Playlist, presented by 2FM’s Tracy Clifford, will count down the songs that define Irish music and culture as voted on by over 100,000 2FM listeners. New genre-bending show Mise FRESHIN’ will creatively combine various strands of Irish music, while Season 2 of The 2 Johnnies Do America takes the lads to Nashville and the home of country music. In Réaltaí na Gaeltachta, 5 well-known Irish people go back to the Gaeltacht to relive bunk beds, curfews and the no Béarla rule.
Other highlights across the season include All 64 games from the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, AIB GAA Club Championship action throughout the autumn, Tommy Tiernan’s Epic West, a contemplative, personal look at the west of Ireland – its culture and landscape, and Untameable, whereaward-winning author Colm Tóibín seeks to re-open the bog-inspired works of Heaney and other artists.
Dee Forbes continued:
“Anchoring our daily live schedules on television, radio and online we have trusted news and current affairs, analysis and discussion, as well as ground-breaking investigative and specialist reporting, which, as we proved during the pandemic, are RTÉ’s key contribution to the democratic functioning of Irish society and the increasingly important fight against misinformation and disinformation.
"On top of that we also have world class natural history, original Irish content dedicated to our younger audiences, new series showcasing our comedic talent, wonderful Irish animation series, more content in the Irish language, and so much more. Through hard work, collaboration, creativity, innovation and an eye on the future, I believe we have developed a season of programming and content that is fitting of Ireland’s national broadcaster and which I hope will engage audiences of all ages in the weeks and months ahead.”