25 June 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Virgin Media Television launches its New Season Schedule; Irish thriller Redemption & variety show The Big Deal lead line-up
26 Aug 2021 : News Desk
Jedward, Lyra, and Deirdre O'Kane at VMTV launch.
Virgin Media Television (VMTV) has promised viewers more original drama and entertainment this autumn at the launch of the broadcaster’s new season schedule.

Virgin has linking up with a number of international partners to bring viewers a range of original content across entertainment, drama, factual and sport.

One of the programmes leading the charge is The Big Deal, which lands on Virgin Media One next Saturday 4th September at 8pm. What has been touted as the biggest Irish entertainment show of the year, sees Virgin partner up with FOX Alternative Entertainment and BiggerStage, for a variety show that includes celebrity judges Boy George, Jedward, JLS’s Aston Merrygold, Deirdre O’Kane, and Lyra, with host Vogue Williams. 

The show aims to find Ireland’s next biggest talent on a scale this country has never seen before. With a cash price of €50,000, this brand-new entertainment show format is one not to be missed.

VTMV has also revealed new Irish drama production including new thriller Redemption, co-produced with ITV, in association with Screen Ireland featuring Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games), Siobhan McSweeney (Derry Girls) and Moe Dunford (Vikings). This dark crime drama tells the story of DI Colette Cunningham who learns that her estranged daughter Kate has died by suicide. With her life turned upside down, Colette resolves to stay in Ireland to work for the Garda.  But what will she unearth about the events leading up to Kate’s death, and the life that her daughter chose to build for herself.

Redemption was filmed in Dublin this year with support from the BAI Sound & Vision Fund.

“2021 has been a record year for Virgin Media Television, with audience share for adults +12% and +11% for 15–34-year-olds, while our free Player continues to deliver record streams of c.33 million a year to date,” saidVirgin Media Television Director of Content Bill Malone.

“And today we announce our most ambitious new season schedule yet. We have teamed up with international partners to put more money on screen, to give audiences the biggest entertainment, drama and sports offering ever,” Malone added. “The Six Nations and Champions League are back, along with the biggest entertainment shows and dramas we have ever undertaken, from The Big Deal in association with FOX alternative Entertainment and BiggerStage, to our new thriller, Redemption.

“All our hit shows are returning, including Gogglebox Ireland, The Guards: Inside The K, Living With Lucy, I’m A Celebrity and a whole lot more, while the Virgin Media Player will continue to offer the best free content to box set and binge watch.”

The broadcaster also confirmed that filming is well underway in West Cork on another brand new, major Irish drama series, based on Graham Norton’s best-selling novelHolding. A co-production between ITV Studios and Virgin Media Television, in association with Screen Ireland, it boasts an impressive cast including Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones).

The nation’s top couch TV critics are back with some new and returning households for all new Gogglebox Ireland, launching on 1st September, and Ireland’s favourite, Lucy Kennedy, is back for another series of Living with Lucy as she heads off to share space, life, and conversation with a host of celebrities in their own homes including former English professional footballer Paul Gascoigne aka Gazza.

VMTV have commissioned the first season of a heart-warming and unique dating series Generation Dating . After 16 months of living in an isolated world with COVID, the show pairs up a batch of lonely Irish singletons in their twenties with the over 65’s in a generational quest to manage each other’s dating choices and ultimately find love.

Virgin Media Television will broadcast a host of brand-new documentaries and factual series including the return of the highly acclaimed The Guards: Inside The K. This new series travels deeper into the worlds of criminals and peace makers, with unprecedented access to the guards in the K, and those fighting crime at its darkest. 

Series two marks the return of some familiar faces, and brand-new cases, as we witness crime fighting as it happens. Cases include the exploitation of children, targeting those coercing or inviting children into a life of crime, and, as the nation was shocked by the murder of teenager Keane Mulready Woods, we join the guards tackling Ireland’s criminal gangs. 

Only Fans: Ireland’s X-Rated airs on Virgin Media One on 6th September as VMTV delves into the lives of Irish people on this controversial site. From a former nurse to a 40-year-old mother of three, this fascinating documentary examines this hidden world.

Ireland’s Unidentified Bodies is a four-part series that follows the efforts of Gardaí and Forensic Scientists as they try to solve the mysteries of the many Irish bodies without a name. It is unknown exactly how many unidentified remains lie in mortuaries, forensic labs, and graveyards across Ireland, and no one knows who they are. And Crash Scene Investigates reconstructs and re-tells the stories of fatal Irish road traffic accidents with contributions from bereaved families, first-responders, Garda and forensic investigators.

Virgin Media News documentaries continue with Murder Files: The Killing of Jason Corbett examining the vicious killing of the Limerick dad of two by his former nanny, Molly Martens, and her father. With never seen before police interviews and crime scene footage, it will air on Virgin Media One on 13th September.

Anti-Social Ireland investigates the rise in delinquency and anti-social behaviour across the country and Until Death: Domestic Homicide in Ireland explores Ireland’s most harrowing cases of domestic homicides.

Crime Does Pay: 25 Years of CAB is a new series examining the success of CAB and how it has completely changed the way Organised Crime is policed in Ireland and Breakdown: Ireland’s Mental Health Battle looks at the growing issue of mental health as Munster Rugby legend Alan Quinlan opens up on the mental health battle that almost cost him his life and talks to other high-profile sports stars on the challenges they’ve faced.

In sport, Men’s Guinness Six Nations will return, while Virgin will also broadcast the Women’s and Under 20s tournaments for the first time. As well as the return of the UEFA Champions LeagueEuropa League, and all new Conference League. Bellator is also back in October as well as the European Qualifiers continuing in September to November, as well as the National Nations League Finals, which will air live in October.

Sports Stories returns with another batch of powerful Irish sports documentaries including a two-part interview with Paul McGrath, airing on 30th and 31st of August as Tommy Martin sits down with one of Ireland’s greatest ever footballers for an in-depth interview about his life on and off the pitch. Other Sports Stories include Joe Brolly, Oisin McConville, Nina Carberry, Damien Delaney and Ian McKinley.

Virgin Media News, Ireland's national independent television news service will continue to bring viewers up- to-date news and current affairs seven days a week.

While live music continues to face very significant challenges – Fanning at Whelan’s returns for eight episodes of epic performances at this iconic venue. From Pillow Queens to Kodaline, Lyra to Paddy Casey, Dave Fanning brings us a line up not to be missed.

Two short films, Punch Line and Water Under The Bridge, winners of Virgin Media’s search for diverse new drama talent, Virgin Media Discovers, will also feature in our new season of Irish drama in association with Screen Ireland.

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