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New Irish crime drama Kin starring Aidan Gillen, Clare Dunne, Ciaran Hinds leads RTÉ Autumn line-up
18 Aug 2021 : News Desk
Clare Dunne in Kin
Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, today launched its new season of programming.

The showcase revealed a number of exciting new formats and homegrown dramas, as well as the return of firm favourites to Irish screens. RTÉ has pledged that almost 40 hours of brand-new drama will be delivered to audiences between September 2021 and Summer 2022. 

One of the highlight is the new Irish crime drama Kin, which follows the lives of a fictional Dublin family embroiled in a gangland war. Filmed in Dublin, it features a exciting cast of Irish actors including Clare Dunne, Aidan Gillen, Ciarán Hinds, Sam Keeley, Emmett Scanlan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and newcomer Yasmin Seky. The eight-part series is produced by Vikings and Tudors producers Morgan O’Sullivan and James Flynn through their Metropolitan Films banner, and has secured sales deals with international streaming service AMC+.

Following its enormous success earlier this year, Smother is back for a second series. Written by Kate O’Riordan and filmed in County Clare, it continues the gripping tale of the Ahern family, featuring Dervla Kirwan as family matriarch Val, with Gemma-Leah Devereux, Niamh Walsh, and Seána Kerslake.     

Angeline Ball features along with Peter Coonan in the crime drama Hidden Assets, filmed in Limerick.  It follows the link between a wealthy Irish family, a stash of rough diamonds, and a series of deadly bombings in Belgium.

Filmed in Dublin earlier this year, Harry Wild is a drama mystery series about a recently retired English professor who takes an active interest in the criminal cases assigned to her police detective son. It stars Jane Seymour, who also executively produced the eight-episode series.

This year RTÉ will also broadcast a series of quality RTÉ co-productions, including comedy-drama series The Dry written by Nancy Harris, and Conversations with Friends based on the book by Sally Rooney (author of Normal People). A powerful drama series Three Families tells the compelling stories of real lives impacted by Northern Ireland’s formerly restrictive abortion laws.

Viewers can also look forward to plenty more action from Ireland’s favourite drama Fair City, with the residents of Carrigstown continuing to share their lives with us every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings

RTÉ Player will feature plenty of fresh box sets of top drama titles including Irish drama Dublin Murders - the chilling Dublin-based psychological thriller following the investigation of a child’s murder. Viewers can enjoy a range of Irish drama such as, Smother, Love/Hate, The South Westerlies, Pure Mule, Striking Out and Acceptable Risk.    

"Today we unveiled a selection of programming for the months ahead with a particular focus on drama and entertainment,” said Dee Forbes, RTÉ Director General. “Along with new entertainment shows and formats, we will welcome new faces and voices on our air as we support and seek out new Irish talent.” 

“We will tell Ireland’s story with a compelling slate of factual and current affairs output, programmes for young people, multi-platform arts and culture output and of course even more from RTÉ Sport, the definitive home of free-to-air sport in Ireland,” added Forbes. “This new season makes a compelling case for the need to sustain public service broadcasting, for our current generations and the generations to come."

Saturday night highlights will include Last Singer Standing hosted by Nicky Byrne, a new format karaoke-inspired game show where singers from around Ireland compete to win a €25,000 prize. Pop superstars Nadine Coyle, Joey Fatone and Samantha Mumba will be joining the show as panellists, offering their expert opinions and advice throughout the series. Also new for Saturday nights is Angela Scanlon's Ask Me Anything, which promises plenty of surprises and revelations when Angela chats with guests who have agreed to be asked about absolutely anything!

Glow Up Ireland sees Maura Higgins challenge Ireland’s best amateur make-up artists to compete against each other, and the two judges putting the contestants through their paces are industry professionals Cathyanne Mac Allister and Emma O’ Byrne, while Hell Week – The Professionals sees 18 of Ireland’s fittest from the world of sport and entertainment take on the gruelling physical and mental challenge, which has a 90% failure rate.

With a significant increase in Irish-language programming, the national psyche is the theme of GAFA, a new Irish-language series about the things that Irish people just can’t seem to stop talking about. From our obsession with the Irish weather – GAFA leis an Aimsir - to our curiosity about the Royal Family – GAFA leis na Royals – GAFA takes a unique look at the things that are always part of the national conversation.  RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will be resuming its full coverage of International, national and local programmes.

This year will see RTÉ heading towards celebrating 60 years of The Late Late Show. A new season of The Tommy Tiernan Show returns with a Christmas Special while Today celebrates 10 years of lively afternoon chat and entertainment.  New presenter Emer O’Neill, formerly of Home School Hub, is joining Dáithí and Maura while Sinéad Kennedy takes maternity leave.     

More of Ireland’s favourite entertainment shows return, include Soundtrack to my Life, hosted by Bressie, and a new series of DIY SOS with Baz Ashmawy. The Style Counsellors with Suzanne Jackson is also back; Suzanne will be joined by some leading lights of the fashion industry giving their top tips including the fabulous style queen, Eileen Smith.

Young people’s programming  

Storybud is a brand-new series where some famous faces, including Jason Byrne and Doireann Garrihy, re-tell some well-known children’s stories, with a bit of a twist. Other highlights include the film X marks the spot – a new kid’s comedy-drama written by Carol Walsh and directed by Hugh O’Conor, and The Imagination Machine, which features an incredible mix of live-action & CGI. Will Sliney's Storytellers will look at the world-famous comic book artist Will Sliney and a host of amazing never before seen characters in this new art show with a difference.   

RTÉ promises to have the largest selection of free-to-air sport available to audiences in Ireland, across TV, radio, and online, enabled by strategic partnerships with TG4 and Virgin Media, delivering the best value for the licence fee. 

Highlights include Six Nations, GAA club championships, Champions League, men’s and women’s World Cup qualifiers, Autumn Internationals, FAI Cup, SSE Airtricity league, and Horse Racing.  We’ll bring you the agonies and the ecstasies, from Irish teams on the world stage to local teams representing the parish. We promise a jam-packed schedule of local and national events and collectively, sharing every riveting moment.      

Full details of all RTÉ Sport programming will be announced in early September to coincide with the start of 2021/ 22 United Rugby Championship (URC) season, which will premiere on RTÉ.

RTÉ’s factual series and documentaries this season will offer a broad and diverse range of both hard-hitting and heart-warming content for viewers. We’ll be tackling the subjects that need talking about, taking an honest snapshot of how we all live, work, and play, and celebrating our uniqueness with a look at the things and people we love. Highlights will include: Keelin Shanley: Faraway, Still Close, a documentary on the late Keelin Shanley; Cocooned, which looks at how our older generation “cocooned” during the earlier stages of the coronavirus pandemic; and Ireland's Dirty Laundry, which hears from those who worked in Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries. 

Full details of the RTÉ factual schedule will be revealed this Sunday. 


Arts and Culture  

A special series with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will showcase new arrangements of the music of David Bowie. 

A series of documentaries including one featuring Brian Friel and Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and a special documentary to mark 100 years of Ulysses will be showcased this coming season. 

Full details of the RTÉ's Arts & Culture schedule will be announced in early September.

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