As of August 30th, TV3 will be changing its name to Virgin Media and today they announced a new autumn schedule to go with it. Well, there are some new shows, a lot of the favourites will still be there including 'Ireland AM', 'The Tonight Show' and 'Ireland's Got Talent'.
Highlights include a new 8pm News bulletin, a new Pat Kenny debate show, an original Irish drama series ‘Blood’ featuring BAFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar; and a series of specially commissioned programmes to mark 20 years of Independent television in Ireland.
'Red Rock' will also be returning for ten more episodes that promise to be explosive while ‘Living with Lucy’ is back with the presenter staying with ten new celebrities including Nathan Carter, Gemma Collins, Christy Dignam and Nadine Coyle.
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’ is an 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.
Sports wise, 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.
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."
If you're wondering how the change of name will work from August 30th, Virgin Media One will be the new name for TV3, Virgin Media Two will be the new name for 3e and Virgin Media Three will be the new name for be3.