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.
Following on from the announcement last year that RTÉ was ditching in-house productions of Children's programming, today (18/07/17) RTÉ announce that they had reduced their spend on programming for children by 25%. RTÉ spent just 7.1million euro on programming for children. This compares to 9.4million in 2015. RTÉ announce that it would outsource children's programming in 2017 but retain its 2016 budget. However RTÉ fail to mention how much that budget came to.
RTÉ are celebrating the 2nd Birthday of RTÉjr with the return of some of previous cast members of The Den. Zig and Zag is a new animated series which will broadcast on RTÉ's dedicated channel to the under 6s. The new series comes 30 years after the debut of Dempsey’s Den on Irish screens in 2016.
RTÉjr started out life as Den Tot's a block on the classic children's TV strand The Den in 1998. This was a major change for the service as Irish children's TV would effectively be on air from 7 in the morning to 6 each evening. RTÉ Two became the main RTÉ children's channel in 1988 with the move of Dempsey's Den to Network 2 from RTÉ 1. In 2010 RTÉ made the decision to re-brand The Den as RTÉjr and TRTÉ. Since 2010 RTÉjr has grown. Initially launched in May 27, 2011 as a 5 day week channel and last year as a stand-alone channel. RTÉ's children's services are hugely underfunded with just €8million available to them.