RTÉ’s new season Autumn line-up has been revealed with the national broadcaster promising over 30 hours of brand new Irish drama, a wide range of documentaries on real-life stories, as well as new homegrown entertainment and comedy.
The Autumn schedule also promises a significant slate of peak-time Irish language programming, ‘large scale’ cultural events, climate crisis content, over 126 hours of original Irish children’s content, and a wide range of free-to-air Sport.
112 Days – Man Vs Ocean is an emotional and reflective adventure documentary that follows Damian Browne and Fergus Farrell’s voyage traversing the Atlantic Ocean in a two-person rowboat. Stardust is a major three-part documentary series, which will provide a 360-degree perspective on the Stardust tragedy, while Patrick: A Young Traveller Lost shines a light on the urgent and sensitive issue of suicide rates among the Irish Traveller community through the harrowing story of 12-year-old Patrick McDonagh.
Since 1996, 261 women have died violently in the Republic of Ireland, according to Women’s Aid. In a new series of Dr Cassidy’s Casebook – The Femicide Cases, former State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy explores the issue of femicide in Ireland through the lens of some of the cases she investigated during her career. In Richie Sadlier – Let’s Talk About Sex, Richie Sadlier explores Ireland’s sex education history through the eyes and ears of transition year students.
Climate takes centre stage with insightful new programmes including, Climate Live 2050. From the makers of Election ’18, this ambitious special imagines how the news might be in the year 2050 with presenters Mark Little and Carla O’Brien guiding viewers through a seismic night as the climate pushes the planet to a moment of crisis. Six-part series Heated takes a factual look at the implications of climate change for individuals, families, communities, and industry in Ireland. In A Climate of Change, Philip Boucher-Hayes journeys to examine the effect of climate change across continents and assess the implications it will have in Ireland.
As part of RTÉ’s commitment to leading on Climate Change coverage, RTÉ News & Current Affairs is embedding reporting of the climate crisis across all topics and areas as it affects all our lives, including a continued special focus on biodiversity. 2024 will also see Young Peoples Programing premiere several series that tackle environmental issues, including What’s Next? a series for 10-12 year-olds that looks at innovation and challenges within the environmental sector.
In November, RTÉ will screen Face Down, a documentary sprung from RTÉ’s hugely successful radio series RTÉ Documentary on One, it focuses on the 1973 kidnapping by the IRA of German businessman, Thomas Niedermayer. Funded by RTÉ, ARTE, Screen Ireland, and BBC Northern Ireland, and with the support of Section 481 funding, this feature documentary is currently playing in cinemas in Ireland. RTÉ Radio 1’s RTÉ Documentary on One continues to go from strength to strength and offers a new season of stories of music, adventure, Irish civil war history, and Mount Everest. Acclaimed social history series Scannal looks back at the stories that shocked and shaped us as a nation including the disappearance in 1977 of six-year-old Mary Boyle.
In Drama, RTÉ estimates a significant increase in its drama output over the last four years: from 9 hours in 2019 to 43.5 hours in 2023. The broadcaster promises to have an abundance of brand-new Irish drama hitting screens this new season, featuring a wealth of emerging and established Irish talent, filmed throughout Ireland in locations from Donegal to Killaloe, Limerick to Dublin, supporting local economies throughout Ireland.
RTÉ has worked with Irish partners including Screen Ireland and international partners, to bring more Irish stories to Irish screens and showcase Irish talent internationally. RTÉ also continues its Storyland initiative focused on nurturing creative acting, writing, and directing talent to cultivate new voices and perspectives in Irish drama. Previous Storyland winners have gone on to write for Kin, Hidden Assets, and Smother.
Brand-new series this season include The Gone, Obituary, and Blackshore, as well as the return of Hidden Assets and The Dry, all supported by Screen Ireland. Six-part thriller The Gone, starring Grey’s Anatomy’s Richard Flood, sees a young Irish couple go missing with a potential Irish crime family involved in their disappearance, leading to a joint New Zealand and Irish crime investigation. Series 2 of Hidden Assets is set between Limerick and Antwerp. Claire (Nora-Jane Noone) is new to the fold as lead Detective Sergeant in charge at the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau, the cast also includes Simone Kirby and Cathy Belton.
In dark-comedy drama Obituary, Siobhán Cullen takes the lead as Elvira Clancy, a bored obituary writer who takes matters into her own hands. Filmed in Donegal, the six-part series also stars Michael Smiley and Danielle Galligan. Dark thriller Blackshore follows DI Fia Lucey (Lisa Dwan), a laser-focused, ambitious detective who is haunted by her tragic past, and stars Rory Keenan, Stanley Townsend, Andrew Bennett, and Amy De Bhrún.
Season two of comedy drama The Dry, written by BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Nancy Harris, will see the return of Roisin Gallagher as recovering alcoholic Shiv Sheridan, accompanied by an exciting array of new cast arrivals including Sam Keeley (Kin) and Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones). The Boy That Never Was is based on The Sunday Times bestselling debut novel by Karen Perry and adapted by Jo Spain. New Irish talent is showcased in Storyland with new single dramas including Wrapped, starring Ella Lily Hyland, Falling for the Life of Alex Whelan starring Chris Walley, and The Cousin, starring Fionn Ó Loingsigh.
A season of explosive drama awaits in Fair City’s Carrigstown this autumn, where a kidnapping goes horribly wrong. RTÉ Player delivers more on-demand drama than ever before with new Irish and International box sets available to stream this autumn, including critically acclaimed crime drama Luther, alongside Hidden Assets, Sherlock, The Split, Doctor Foster, Blue Lights, and many more. Plus, there’s the eagerly anticipated return of Neighbours on Monday, 18th September to RTÉ Player and RTÉ2.
Culture – Arts and Music
To mark the end of the decade of centenaries, RTÉ has commissioned a special live concert in association with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Featuring some of Ireland’s best-known musicians, performers, and writers, An Old Song Re-Sung will be broadcast in October to mark the 100th anniversary of Ireland’s accession to the League of Nations. RTÉ will celebrate Culture Night in Donegal on Friday, September 22nd from a lakeside setting in the shadow of Mount Errigal where the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will be joined by a host of guest performers.
Aistear an Amhráin examines the meaning behind Ireland’s most popular songs and features Damien Dempsey, John Sheahan, and The Saw Doctors, and in Seisiún, presenter Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh visits celebrated music venues. Dolores@70 honours much-loved singer Dolores Keane as she turns 70, while Cloch Le Carn includes programmes on Sean Keane, and The Chieftains. A one-off documentary on the Hot House Flowers will examine a landmark year that changed the course of the bandmember’s lives. In Songlines, Thomas McCarthy meets an eclectic collection of Traveller singers throughout Ireland.
The Meaning of Life with Joe Duffy features interviews with Johnny Logan, Adi Roche, Tony Holohan, and a 100th episode special with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Running for two weeks in October on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ will broadcast the top ten short stories from this year’s RTÉ Short Story Competition in honour of Francis MacManus, while Hidden Treasures spotlights the cultural, creative, and challenging work behind the scenes in Irish museums. In Viva Mary (Banríon Sitges), film maker Cathal Ó Cuaig meets mother, grandmother, and Connemara native Mary Lambe, daughter of the painter Charles Lambe.
Homegrown entertainment and comedy brings us together for shared moments and this new season serves up plenty of uniquely Irish fare to watch live and on demand.
Friday, September 15th heralds the start of a brand-new chapter in The Late Late Show story as new host Patrick Kielty brings his own inimitable style to Friday nights, complete with a new look and redesigned set to serve up the best in Irish entertainment, music, and comedy.
Tommy Tiernan is back for 16 episodes of The Tommy Tiernan Show in January. Audience favourite Dancing with the Stars returns with Jennifer Zamparelli, Doireann Garrihy, and 11 new hopefuls, while Baz Ashmawy presents The Money List, a brand-new quiz show. The Full Irish Hidden Camera Show with 2FM Breakfast crew Doireann, Carl, and Donncha sees pranks played on the unsuspecting public, and Ireland’s Fittest Family gains two new recruits with Sonia O’Sullivan joining our coaches and Laura Fox as our host. In the brand-new Love in the Country, Anna Geary is on hand to help Irish farmers find the love of their life, and First Dates returns with a restaurant full of new hopefuls.
In Foclóir Brille, stand-up comedian Bláithín de Burca takes viewers on a jubilant journey deep into the past, present, and future of the Irish language. In an RTÉ Player Original Ireland’s Perfect Pubs, stand-up comedian Anna Clifford goes on an epic Irish pub crawl to visit some of the country’s most unique hostelries. Comedy duo Darren and Joe try to make some money during the Rugby World Cup in Darren and Joe’s Rugby Bandwagon, and afternoon favourite Today is back from Cork, with Dáithí, Maura, and Sinéad. Also in Cork, Jock and Conor return for a brand-new series of comedy favourite, The Young Offenders.
Real Irish Lives
This season, RTÉ promises to bring viewers into the hearts and lives of Irish people and Irish communities, documenting real-life experiences from inspirational transformations to quests for love, homes, and the perfect smile.
Real-life experiences are documented in programming including Fools for Love, where journalist Aoife Grace Moore investigates the dark side of dating apps. Sun, Sea, and Scalpels follows some of the thousands of Irish people opting to travel abroad for cosmetic surgery, and in Keith’s Teeth: A Dental Odyssey, Keith Duffy examines the nation’s changing relationship with our smiles.
Inside Penneys journeys into the fast-moving headquarters of one of Ireland’s best-known retailers. A Ring and A Prayer examines couples from diverse cultures and faith traditions who get married. Secret Life of Your Body, a new medical series, fronted by Kathryn Thomas, follows patients through surgeries and recoveries from heart bypasses to an ACL operation, and there are more transformative series in the shape of Big Life Fix, Raised by the Village, and Operation Transformation. Real life communities are documented in a slate of programming including Ar an Sliabh, capturing everyday life in remote Irish communities, Cheap Irish Homes, follows aspirational homeowners hoping to get on the property ladder for less, and Bog Amach, where Emer Mhic an Fhailí takes couples to prospective homes in spectacular locations.
Peataí gives pet owners an opportunity to get answers to their pet problems, while in Listen to the Land Speak, celebrated nature writer Manchán Magan brings viewers exploring Ireland’s land and waters. Continental Riffs captures the essence of Europe through architecture, dance, and performance. In Marty’s Big Picture Show, Marty Morrissey and historian Liz Gillis attempt to track down faces captured in the lenses of some of Ireland’s best-known photographers. Dermot Bannon’s Super Spaces is a two-part series looking at unusual spaces where people live.
RTÉ offers to serve its youngest citizens with a diverse range of content on RTÉjr, RTÉ2, RTÉ Player, and RTÉ’s YouTube channel, with dedicated live action, animation as well as events. A safe space for young people to watch native content, RTÉjr offers programmes which are ad-free and available in Safe Mode on RTÉ Player.
The RTS Award-winning Storybud is back for a brand-new series, with episodes performed by Jason Byrne, Panti Bliss, and Dustin. Ladybird and Bee mixes charming storytelling with the universe of narrative potential that is the Natural World, and Tír na nÓg is a wonderland of adventure, used by parents, grandparents, and schools to immerse their preschoolers in Gaeilge. Will Sliney’s Storytellers 2 is part drawing show-part animated adventure, teaching budding young artists using the most powerful weapon in the world – a pencil. The series features WWE Superstar Becky Lynch, actor Aisling Bea, and broadcaster Dermot Whelan. Ray of Sunshine follows seven-year-old Ray who lives in the Sunshine Apartments smack dab in the middle of the city of Dublin.
In October, the broadcasters very first RTÉ & Creative Ireland This is Art! Exhibition will be hosted in the prestigious RHA in Dublin. In Ruck and Roll, presenter Seán Treacy brings the Rugby World Cup to audiences and clubs across Ireland, challenging both the knowledge and skill of the future superstars of the sport. Space Camp Challenge in conjunction with SFI follows 8 TY students on the trip of a lifetime to Huntsville Alabama to participate in the NASA astronaut training programme.
News & Current Affairs
In a world of non-stop information, it has never been more important to be able to trust the news you consume. RTÉ News & Current Affairs cuts through the noise and establish the absolute facts as we verify them. RTÉ News promises to challenge disinformation to ensure its audiences have confidence in the authenticity of its coverage across all its platforms. RTÉ News promisesn to continue to tell stories accurately and impartially on all platforms, enabling audiences to be informed where they need, including significant growth in its trusted Instagram and TikTok accounts engaging with younger people. In the past three months, RTÉ News content has reached over 33 million accounts on Instagram and generated over 22 million video views on TikTok.
This new season will see RTÉ One launch a brand-new Irish language weekly current affairs television series, Fóram, which will be broadcast live on Sundays, with news and analysis of major stories as Gaeilge. As we head into another political term, The Week in Politics will also return on Sundays with Áine Lawlor and the insightful podcast series Your Politics available on all platforms each week.
Following on from the shocking and powerful programmes on Ireland’s dairy calves and Sex for Rent this year, the award-winning RTÉ Investigates team will deliver public service broadcasting at its very best in several new and revealing documentaries this season. Monday nights will see the return of Upfront with Katie Hannon on RTÉ One, giving the public the opportunity to share their views on topical issues and to put their questions directly to those in power. Miriam O’Callaghan, Fran McNulty, and Sarah McInerney along with the Prime Time team will delve into the issues affecting all our daily lives. From climate change to the housing crisis to the spiralling cost of living, Prime Time will also provide extensive coverage and scrutiny of all the big events including Budget 2024.
Nationwide continues to broadcast local and community-based stories from all over Ireland as Anne Cassin and Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh present programmes featuring Irish tourism destinations, entrepreneurs throughout the land, craftspeople, insights into Irish history, and the extraordinary stories of ordinary people in different parts of Ireland every week.
RTÉ continues to bring audiences a wide range of free-to-air sport, featuring national teams, our national games, and Irish athletes on the national and international stage. From the Rugby World Cup, and the Irish Open, to the World Rowing Championships, World Gymnastics Championships, Euro Qualifiers, GAA Club and League action. RTÉ Sport will continue to offer trusted analysis, expert commentators, and a behind-the-scenes team dedicated to bringing the best sport to viewers this Autumn/Winter.
The Rugby World Cup takes centre stage with all 48 matches being broadcast free to air on Irish television across RTÉ television, RTÉ Player, Virgin Media Television, and Virgin Media Player.
Jacqui Hurley presents live coverage alongside panellists including Jamie Heaslip, Simon Zebo, Jerry Flannery, Stephen Ferris, Fiona Coghlan, Bernard Jackman, Hannah Tyrrell, Donal Lenihan, and Darren Cave. The Men’s, Women’s, and U20 Six Nations all return in Spring, live on RTÉ.
In soccer, the Republic of Ireland’s women’s side return to competitive action after their World Cup exploits with a UEFA Nations League campaign kicking off in September at the Aviva Stadium against Northern Ireland. Stephen Kenny’s men’s team will continue their bid to qualify for next summer’s Euros. Next month also sees the U21s begin their UEFA European Under-21 Qualifiers campaign. The UEFA Champions’ League group stage returns to our screens alongside the climax of the domestic season with live SSE Airtricity League Premier Division action, and both Men’s and Women’s FAI Cup Finals.
After a stunning summer of GAA Championship action, attention turns to the AIB All Ireland Club Championships, while the Allianz National League will return in the New Year ahead of another Championship season. December sees the GAA All Stars announced with the ceremony live on RTÉ.
Both the Men’s and Women’s Irish Open Golf championships will be live on RTÉ later this year. RTÉ’s longstanding and comprehensive Horse Racing coverage continues with the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
With the Olympic Games just a year away, the focus of athletes and fans alike turns to qualification ahead of the games in Paris. The World Rowing Championships in Belgrade will feature a host of Irish rowers aiming for medals. Qualification for Paris and the World Gymnastics Championships will take place in Antwerp this September. The European Cross-Country Championships take place in Brussels in December, plus RTÉ will look back on a momentous year of Irish sport and honour the greatest achievers of 2023 on The RTÉ Sport Awards.
Speaking about the Autumn programme, Niamh O’Connor, Deputy Director of Content said: “RTÉ is firmly focused on our core purpose of delivering a broad range of unique Irish content that serves the Irish public. Working with Irish creative talent both in the Irish independent production sector and our in-house production teams, we want to give the public the very best content that they deserve from their national public service broadcaster.
“Programmes that they won’t see anywhere else, featuring Irish talent, Irish culture, sharing Irish stories, connecting through our comedy, making national cultural and sporting events available to the widest possible audience live and on demand. We are determined to serve the public and hope that this new slate of content connects and enriches people’s lives, from tackling big issues that matter today, to the lighter side of Irish life and entertainment that brings us together, we’ve listened to what matters to our audience and hope they enjoy our new season of content”.