RTÉ's Independent Commissions and Production Unit have published their Annual report for 2019. RTÉ cut funding to scripted drama and comedy by 29% to €3.2million. The report also shows that RTÉ's decision to move Children's programming out of the broadcaster has cause the broadcaster to continue to under fund the children's content. 2019 saw a slight rise in children's content spend of €248,000, bring the spend to €3.6 million, this compares to RTÉ's overall cost in 2015 of €9.4 million for children's content. €300,000 worth of Drama was commission for Radio in both years, with no children's commissions for Radio in either year.
There isn\'t a whole lot wrong with Finding Joy, but then there isn\'t a whole lot right with the series either. The first series aired about 2 years ago and with a mediocre beginning its strange to see the series return. Joy (Amy Huberman) has left the magazine job from the last season and is joined by her faithful side kick Stan (Paul Reid) and her best friend Trish (Hannah James-Scott) as Mother in need of some R&R. The rest of the cast largely seem to have been forgotten about, though in fairness I didn\'t watch the full series last time round so perhaps there are more characters from it in Season 2.
RTÉ's children's show, The Den, will make a return as a full series following its special outing on RTÉ Does Comic Relief during the summer. The series replaces Ray D'Arcy's Saturday Night chat which will not return this season. The series will begin on Sunday the 1st of November 2020. The series will feature The Den regulars, Ray D'Arcy, Dustin and Zig and Zag. The Den was originally broadcast on RTÉ ONE from 1986 to 1988, before moving to RTÉ2 in 1988, the series remained on RTÉ2 until 2010 when it was replace by TRTÉ and RTÉjr. Zig and Zag made their debut on the show 33 years ago today on 22nd of September, 1987. They would later go on to co-present Channel 4's The Big Breakfast.
HBO (Home Box Office) took 30 awards at this years Emmys last night. Netflix, Pop TV and Disney + were next in line, while NBC took home just 8 awards as the cable and streamers continue to out to tranditional television. The big winner of the night was HBO\'s Watchmen which was awarded 11 gongs, following by the Comedy Schitt\'s Creak with 9 awards. Succession and The Mandalorian both took home 7 awards each. Daniel Levy took home 4 awards on the night for Director, Executive Producer, Performer and Writer for Schitt\'s Creek. Normal People\'s Paul Mescal (acting), Lenny Abrahamson (directing), Sally Rooney and Alice Birch (Writting) and Louise Kiely unfortunately did not take home an award.
RTÉ\'s latest co-production lacks life. The problem is an uninteresting and uninspired local story that lacks the drama of the Water Charges or the Corib gas pipeline protests. A rural town is divided with the arrival of a Norwegian firm\'s plan to build wind turbines of the coast of Count Cork. The shows characters are not bad, but they are one dimensional, there might have been an opportunity for The South Westerlies to be something more that a series with a very blunt plot or they could have gone down the road of a lighthearted drama like ITV\'s Doc Martin. As a drama looking to explore local politics, national politics and international trade, it has no bite. The series is billed as a Comedy-Drama.
Virgin Media Television has launched its 2020/2021 autumn and winter schedule today (28 August 2020). Much like RTÉ the COVID-19 restrictions have hampered any major announcements. With the retirement of Ivan Yeats in June VMTV have choosen Ciara Doherty to replace him on The Tonight Show and Tommy Bowe will replace Ciara on the Ireland AM couch. The Irish based Channel 5 drama will get its Irish Debut in September.