8 August 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
RTÉ One Launches a Dramatic New Season of Programming
14 Aug 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
'Charlie' stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Aidan Gillen
RTÉ One has launched an exciting new season of home-produced and acquired programming, with over 35 new shows plus 24 returning series. The season will see over 600 hours of home-produced programming and over 90 hours of Irish drama, along with 13 new factual documentaries and five brand-new arts documentaries.

Glen Killane, MD RTÉ Television, said: “As Ireland’s public service multimedia organisation, RTÉ is committed to delivering the broadest range of value-for-money programming on RTÉ One. This season RTÉ One will deliver the best in Sunday night drama, landmark documentaries and big family entertainment. Ireland’s biggest channel will be living up to its deserved reputation for quality programming mixed with the very latest, in-depth news and current affairs.”

Acting RTÉ One Channel Controller Ryle Nugent said: “It is a challenging, competitive and exciting time for broadcasters in this country – and RTÉ One is the market leader. I’m genuinely proud of what we are unveiling today and confident that the programming on offer will both engage and entertain the Irish audience. RTÉ One is the number one channel in a crowded market. We aim to strengthen that position.

“This season we’re offering viewers more exclusive programme content on RTÉ Player with new web exclusives and behind-the-scenes access on shows such as Ireland’s Fittest Family and Fair City. We’re offering our content on multiple channels and platforms including RTÉ One +1, RTÉ News Now and RTÉ Player so viewers can engage with RTÉ One content whenever and wherever they are. And we’ll be announcing details for the upcoming season for RTÉ Two and RTÉjr over the coming weeks.”

Below are the new programmes coming to RTÉ for the new season:

Drama on RTÉ One

RTÉ One will be bringing viewers the best in Sunday night drama with long-awaited new series of ‘Love/Hate’, ‘The Fall’ and brand new three-part drama ‘Charlie’. Ireland’s most popular soap ‘Fair City’ celebrates its 25th anniversary this September with dramatic new storylines.

  • CHARLIE - Charles J Haughey (Aidan Gillen) navigates the corridors of power from the Dáil to the grand salons of Europe as he does battle with political players both close to home and abroad. Produced by Touchpaper and Element Pictures this three-part feature length drama is co-funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.
  • LOVE/HATE - ‘Love/Hate’ returns for a fifth season. Nidge (Tom Vaughan Lawlor) is once again king of all he surveys. The debilitating paranoia that grew from his guilt – over Darren, over Linda, everything he’s done – has passed as he has narrowly avoided prison following Moynihan’s surveillance operation.
  • THE FALL - Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan return for a brand new series of ‘The Fall’. The second series picks up immediately where series one left off, with Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) in pursuit of Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan).

Factual on RTÉ One

Aside from the return of series ‘Crimecall’, ‘Ear to the Ground’, ‘Firefighters’, ‘The Science Squad’, ‘Eco Eye’, ‘What in the World’, and ‘The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards’, this season RTÉ One offers 13 new documentaries.

  • WOMEN ON THE INSIDE is a new two-part documentary series, filmed behind the walls of Ireland’s women prisons, depicts life inside, allowing us a rare glimpse into a world so few of us see.
  • SERVING JUSTICE – IRELAND’S PROBATION OFFICERS is a landmark two-part documentary that examines the day-to-day work of probation officers across Ireland, monitoring and rehabilitating a range of offenders, from minor criminals to high-risk offenders.
  • DÓNAL ÓG CUSACK – PRIDE follows Dónal Óg Cusack, three-time All-Ireland winning Cork hurler and one of our first high-profile sports personalities to come out. The show journeys throughout the country asking how much life in Ireland has changed for gay people in the two decades since the de-criminalisation of homosexuality.
  • CLOSE TO EVIL charts Bergen Belsen concentration camp survivor Tomi Reichental’s quest to meet one of the women who held him in captivity in Belsen and to investigate her claims that she is ‘a victim of victor’s justice’.
  • UP AND UNDER: THE LIFE OF O’REILLY sees RTÉ’s Business Editor David Murphy chart the highs and lows of Tony O’Reilly’s remarkable career and speaks to those closest to him.
  • WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is a revealing documentary that looks in-depth at Kevin McGeever’s disappearance, examines his past and tells the sequence of events that culminated in his dramatic reappearance.
  • BALLYFIN: THE STORY OF AN IRISH COUNTRY HOUSE tells the story of the history of Ballyfin, how it played an important role in the political, artistic and social life of nineteenth century Ireland, and how it was abandoned by its Anglo-Irish owners at the beginning of the twentieth century.
  • POWER IN THE BLOOD sees Ella McSweeney examine what makes Irish thoroughbreds such consistent winners.
  • PORNATION is a new two-part documentary series looks at the scale and impact of pornography consumption in Ireland and asks what it might mean for both adults and young people.
  • LIFE AFTER CARE follows the lives of a number of young people in the wake of state care.
  • THE ENTREPRENEURS films all over the country to finds out what makes Ireland's most dynamic and charismatic go-getters tick.
  • THE INSIDERS - From the opening up of Croke Park and the ending of Rule 42, the hosting of the Special Olympics, and the impact of the online travel revolution we talk to the insiders intimately involved at turning points of Irish history.
  • THE BEE is a fascinating documentary in which award-winning director Garry Keane meets some of the children from over 1,000 schools throughout Ireland who took part in the Eason Spelling Bee 2014.

Arts on RTÉ One

RTÉ One continues its commitment to the arts with five major new documentaries guaranteed to inspire and illuminate viewers’ imaginations.

The new documentaries are:

  • A POEM FOR IRELAND sees RTÉ’s The Works in association with RTÉ Radio 1’s The John Murray Show launch a nationwide campaign to identify the best-loved Irish poem of the past century.
  • MAN ON BRIDGE tells the story of Arthur Fields, the legendary street photographer who stood on O'Connell Bridge in Dublin from the 1930s to the 1980s taking and selling photographs of ordinary people as they passed by.
  • THE BRENDAN BOY is a documentary commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Behan’s death, actor Adrian Dunbar sets out to distinguish the man from the myth.
  • BEING JAMES GALWAY is an intimate and revealing documentary on the life, work and legacy of Sir James Galway, a genius and maverick in the world of classical music.
  • GRAY MATTERS explores the legacy of Irish furniture designer Eileen Gray who was for many years a forgotten figure in the history of Irish design.

Entertainment on RTÉ One There’s something to keep all the family amused and engaged in entertainment programming on RTÉ One this season. Returning series are ‘The Voice of Ireland’, ‘The Late Late Show’, ‘Irish Pictorial Weekly’, ‘The Saturday Night Show’, ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys’, ‘Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann’, ‘All-Island School Choir Competition’, ‘Winning Streak’, ‘Up For The Match’, ‘People of the Year Awards’ and ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family’, while its new shows are ‘The Imelda May Show’ and ‘What’s Another Year: The Shay Healy Story’.

Filmed in front of a live studio audience, ‘The Imelda May Show’ celebrates Ireland’s love of music, hosted by the one and only Imelda May. The show will feature chat and live performances from legendary musicians and brand new acts from Ireland and around the world. The Imelda May Show will also feature exclusive additional broadcasts on the Ronan Collins Show on RTÉ Radio 1 and on RTÉ Player.

Over a career that’s spanned five decades, songwriter, broadcaster, journalist, author, documentary director and raconteur Shay Healy has added greatly to the gaiety of the nation. In the one-hour documentary ‘What’s Another Year: The Shay Healy Story’, Shay, along with friends, colleagues and family members, looks back on a long, distinguished and occasionally turbulent life and times.

Lifestyle on RTÉ One

This season RTÉ One features everything from health and fitness to culinary endeavours to home improvement and much more. New shoes include ‘Whose Holiday is it Anyway?’, ‘Domestic Divas’, ‘Taste of Success’, ‘Operation Transformation Christmas Special’, ‘The Speech’, ‘Kitchen Hero: Feast’, ‘The Homeless Choir’, ‘Rachel Allen: All Things sweet’, and ‘Darina Allen & Rory O’Connell Christmas Special’.

Returning Series are ‘The Design Doctors’, ‘Operation Transformation’, ‘Getaways’, ‘Today’, ‘At Your Service’, ‘Neven Maguire: Home Chef’, and ‘Room to Improve.’

Irish Language

For programmes ‘As Gaeilge’, series ‘Gliondar’, ‘Scannal’ and ‘Abhainn’ will return to RTÉ. New to the channel will be ‘Ó CHÚIL AODHA GO hÓILEÁN Í (From Coolea to Iona )’, an intimate documentary follows the life of the legendary Cór Chúil Aodha (The Coolea Men’s choir) over a two month period. Another new Irish language documentary will be ‘OÍCHE NA GAOITHE MÓIRE’. Through dramatic reconstruction, state-of-the-art visual effects and specialist interviews, this documentary brings to life the most terrifying night in pre-famine Irish history, 6th January 1839.


RTÉ continues to reflect, interrogate and celebrate the religious and ethical life of Ireland through a wide variety of programmes and genres. A season entitled ‘Once in a Lifetime’ will examine the Irish way of death and will air in November. ‘The Moment of Truth’ and ‘Joe Duffy’s Spirit Level’ will return.

‘One Million Dubliners’, new to RTÉ, reveals the often unspoken stories from Glasnevin Cemetery of ritual, loss, redemption, emotion, history - and the business of death. ‘A Parting Gift’ secures unprecedented access to tell the story of the Body Donation Programme at Trinity College, Dublin.

The final new programme is ‘Guess Who’s Dead’. Presented by Ardal O’Hanlon, this documentary explores the changing life of the Irish Death Notice: a simple calling card for family, friends and communal mourning.

To get a first look at Sunday Night Drama and for more details on all RTÉ One programming go here.

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