TV3 launched their autumn schedule today and had quite a bit of news to announce including brand news shows, big name signings and the much-anticipated answer to the question of who will replace Vincent Browne on their late night current affairs show.
It seems such was the weight of talent that Vinny B brought to the role that it is taking two presenters to replace him, with Today FM's Matt Cooper and Newstalk's Ivan Yates taking on the job, while Gift Grub's Mario Rosenstock will also be joining them once a week. The Tonight Show will broadcast live every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night at 11pm where the drivetime radio rivals will deconstruct the news and offer insight and their own very different perspectives on the stories Ireland is talking about.
Pat Kenny will return to TV3 to host a weekly currents affair show while it was also announced today that Newstalk's Sarah McInerney will join TV3 to host The Sunday Show where she will review the news and politics of the week alongside guests and regular contributors.
TV3 also announced the arrival of Ireland's Got Talent, which will hosted by Lucy Kennedy with X Factor's Louis Walsh, comedian Jason Byrne, West End star Denise Van Outen and American TV personality Michelle Visage confirmed as the four judges.
As we already knew, Al Porter will be hosting Ireland's answer to Blind Date, but TV3 will also be dealing with the broken-hearted too as Maia Dunphy hosts new show Heartbreak Hotel which will see recently single folk gather for a weekend retreat to face the true issues and reasons why they have been so unlucky in love.
There was also exciting sports news for TV3 as they have secured the broadcast rights to the Six Nations for the next four years, and none other than ROG himself - Ronan O'Gara - will be joining their panel.
In drama news, while Red Rock won't be back on the air until 2018, Gerard Barrett's Smalltown, starring Pat Shortt returns for a second season while there's a new crime drama called Darklands on the way that is set amidst a gang-war in Dublin's inner-city and tells the story of Damien Dunne, a 16-year-old boy in his final year of school who dreams of becoming a professional MMA fighter.
Also on the agenda - from the makers of The Guarantee - The Bailout is a two-part drama series that tells the story of Ireland’s government, led by Brian Cowen, as it desperately tried to avoid handing over governance of the economy to outsiders.
A few new great documentary series' are on the way too, including The Rehab - a three-part access series that sets out to get to the heart of the struggle to get clean from addiction in Ireland, as well as Week-In Week–Out, a hard-hitting documentary series set within the Midlands Prison Campus, Ireland’s largest prison facility.
Other highlights on TV3's upcoming schedule includes four-part documentary series The Babymakers which follows the stories of six couples as they embark on IVF, while there's a new interior design show on the way (watch out Dermot Bannon) called Showhouse Showdown hosted by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Neville Knott.
The old favourites are returning too including Living With Lucy, Gogglebox Ireland, Elaine, The Restaurant and Ireland AM as well as The X-Factor, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent.
Commenting on the new season schedule, TV3 Group Director of Programming, Bill Malone said: "Today is about setting a new tone and a new level for TV3. We are raising the bar higher than ever before with our most ambitious plans yet, with very significant announcements across every genre: Sport, News and Current Affairs, Drama, Factual and Entertainment.
"We have game-changing announcements across the board and across the schedule, from Six Nations and the new 3News Hub to The Tonight Show, Blind Date and Ireland’s Got Talent and that is just the tip of the iceberg. This New Season Launch is defined by Irish stories and Irish programming and is the result of great investment in studios, in content, in talent and in people."