independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Team behind 'TOWIE' shortlisted to produce TV3's first Irish-made soap

Stan-Out Sensation: From left, ‘The Only Way is Essex’ girls Amy Childs, Lauren Goodger, Lydia Rose Bright and Sam Faires. The maker of the show is among the potential candidates to take on a new TV3 soap. Photo: Yiu Mok, PA

Lime Pictures, maker of award-winning reality TV show The Only Way is Essex and Hollyoaks, is one of the six companies shortlisted to make TV3's first Irish-made soap opera.

The final six candidates also include Alan Maloney's Parallel Films, maker of The Clinic, and Ed Guiney's Element Pictures, which made Bachelors Walk. Other production companies involved include: Once producer Samson Films in association with UK firm Newman Street; Touchpaper Zodiak, which made cop show Single-Handed; and One Productions. In total, 18 television firms pitched proposals to the network.

TV3 is aiming to air the soap twice a week in 2015, going head to head with RTE's Fair City. The show, which will have a budget of "millions of euro", will replace Coronation Street and Emmerdale, which will now go out on UTV's upcoming Irish station.

"We have had a large mix of proposals ranging from hospital dramas to ideas based around Ireland's blossoming tech sector," said Owen McArdle, head of TV3's independent productions unit.

"The majority of the successful applicants have submitted precinct-style soaps based around the work of the gardai and fire services."

He added: "There are also some surprising themes dealing with Ireland's corridors of power and cross-sections of Irish communities."

Irish Independent

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