Virgin Media Television steps up its investment in quality Irish content, with over 50 new and returning Irish series and programmes.
Virgin Media Television, the new name for the TV3 Group from 30th August, announced its new season schedule at a press briefing today, for its three free-to-air channels, Virgin Media One (the new name for TV3), Virgin Media Two (the new name for 3e) and Virgin Media Three (the new name for be3).
Quality Irish programming is at the heart of this season’s schedule, with 50 new and returning Irish series and programmes announced.
Virgin Media One will have up to 10 hours of Irish content each weekday, with daily favourites ‘Ireland AM’, ‘Elaine’, ‘The Six O’Clock Show’ and ‘The Tonight Show’ continuing with unique, engaging and relevant Irish stories every day. The flagship channel will continue its commitment to News, which will rebrand to Virgin Media News from 30th August, with the launch of a brand new 8pm News bulletin, fronted by Claire Brock.
New, Irish drama ‘Blood’, featuring BAFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar, will air on Virgin Media One this October. The six-part psychological thriller focuses around a woman who returns to her rural Irish home following her mother’s seemingly accidental death. Red Rock also returns for 10 brand new, explosive episodes.
Factual plays a big part of this season’s schedule, capturing real Irish stories and modern day Irish life with the return of the ‘True Lives’ documentary strand. This season will include a number of new documentaries such as ‘Ireland’s Jihadis’, as Paul Williams examines Islamic extremism in Ireland. ‘Ireland’s Paedophile Hunters’ follows a group of Irish women as they hunt down and pursue Irish pedophiles attempting to groom children online.The disappearance of Fiona Sinnott is explored 20 years on from her vanishing in ‘Getting Away with Murder. ‘Ireland Youngest Grandparents’ is a tell-all documentary following young grandparents across Ireland to discover what it is like to become a grandparent in your 30sand‘Donncha O’Callaghan’s Afterlife’ follows one of the greats of Irish rugby as he transitions from sport star to everyday life.
Virgin Media One will also broadcast a number of brand new documentary series including ‘Inside James’s’ which takes us into the inner workings of one of the busiest hospitals in the country. ‘The Town’, a series filmed across one year in Portlaoise following families facing issues at the heart of Irish society. ‘Revolting Ireland’ is a four-part series fronted by Simon Delaney, which looks at the history of modern protest in Ireland. Doctor in the House, returns for a brand new series, as doctors and medical professionals visit a number of Irish households to drastically alter their health for the better. Hutch v Kinahan: Ireland’s Deadliest Feud’ isan investigation into the on-going bloody war between the Hutch and Kinahan factions in Dublin’s North Inner City and beyond.
In current affairs, ‘The Tonight Show’ returns for a second series, as Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates deconstruct the news, offering insight and their own different perspectives on the stories Ireland is talking about. Pat Kenny also returns with a brand new show, ‘Pat Kenny’s Big Debate’. Pat will bring his unique rigour and experience to big issues such as housing, the welfare state, Brexit, the Presidential election and much more. Economist David McWilliams returns to our screens with ‘Back to the Future’, as he delves into Ireland’s economic growth and the rising cost of property to find out if we are repeating the mistakes of the past.
Sport is supersized on Virgin Media One as Republic of Ireland legend Niall Quinn joins Graeme Souness, Kevin Kilbane, Keith Andrews and Brian Kerr on
Virgin Media Sport’s panel of expert analysts with free-to-air UEFA Champions League on Tuesday nights, alongside Wednesday night highlights. Joe Molloy, Shane Horgan and Ronan O’Gara will be back on our screens for more Rugby this season as the Heineken Champions Cup comes to Virgin Media One. All this action will be ahead of exclusive coverage of the 6 Nations as Ireland look to continue their formidable form and inspire the nation. Continued coverage of some of racing’s biggest meetings including ‘The Cheltenham Festival’, ‘The Aintree Grand National Festival’ and ‘Royal Ascot, will also feature.
Virgin Media One will be the home of top class entertainment with the return of ‘Living with Lucy’ as she cosies up with ten new celebrities including Nathan Carter, Gemma Collins, Christy Dignam and Nadine Coyle. ‘Gogglebox Ireland’ is back on our screens this autumn, featuring some brand new Irish households giving their opinions on some of the most memorable TV of the past week. ‘Ireland’s Got Talent’, the nation’s biggest talent show returns for second series with judges Louis Walsh, Denise Van Outen, Michelle Visage and Jason Byrne. Marco Pierre White and Rachel Allen are also back in The Restaurant as six new celebrities don the kitchen whites to play Head Chef for the day.
On September 20th, to mark 20 years of independent television in Ireland, Virgin Media One will air a number of specially commissioned programmes including ‘Channel Hop: The Story of TV3’, looking back at the history of TV3 over the last two decades through the eyes of some of the stations best-loved faces. ‘Gogglebox Does TV3’ will feature some of our favourites giving their views on TV3 programming down through the years and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, a major news archive series will chronicle the news and highlights of the last 20 years.
Speaking at today’s press briefing, Virgin Media Television Director of Programming, Bill Malone, said:
“It is Virgin Media Television’s investment and commitment to Irish voices, stories and programmes that is the defining feature of our new season schedule, with over 50 new and returning Irish series and programmes alone. Highlights include a new 8pm news bulletin, the launch of original Irish drama series ‘Blood’, the addition of Heineken Champions Cup Rugby, along with the return of viewer favourites Ireland’s Got Talent, Gogglebox Ireland, Living With Lucy, a new-look Ireland AM and a host of new fly-on-the-wall documentary series.”
Mick McCaffrey, Head of Virgin Media News commented;
“The new 8pm bulletin is a great opportunity to showcase the great journalism we produce each day to an even bigger audience. Over the last 20 years TV3 news has developed a well-deserved reputation as a trusted and independent provider of news and we look forward to building on this as Virgin Media News.”