TG4 rising to occasion with 'unique' seasonal line-up
A major new series profiling 1916 leaders will be the flagship show for TG4 this autumn.
The Irish-language television station described its schedule as "unique and distinctive".
The station is hoping the new programmes will go some way towards reining in rival stations RTE and TV3, who enjoy vastly superior audience shares compared to TG4's, which lies at just under 3pc.
The major new series profiling each of the 1916 Proclamation signatories will be the flagship show for the station this autumn.
The seven-part drama-documentary, '1916 Seachtar na Casca', will be narrated by Brendan Gleeson and will go in search of the men, their backgrounds and their families.
In 'Daithi ar Route 1', Kerryman Daithi O Se -- fresh from his Rose of Tralee endeavours -- returns to America and travels south along the east coast from the Canadian border to Florida.
He goes on patrol with US guards on the US-Canadian border, visits Stephen King's home, sings with the Naked Cowboy and learns to shake pompoms with the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders.
Other highlights include a new four-part history of Irish rugby, and a show called 'Sceal an Airgid', which will go in search of "the green shoots of economic recovery".
Documentary 'An Piopa' will tell the story of the small Mayo community that has been embroiled in a conflict with Shell Oil over the Corrib gas pipeline.
'Making a difference', meanwhile, will look at important figures in Irish history, including a "no-holds barred" look at controversial military leaders Tom Barry and Dan Breen.
Regular shows such as 'Ros na Run', 'Cogar', and 'Geantrai' return, while there will also be live coverage of Magner's League rugby, International Rules football, and GAA.
"I think we've got a strong line-up this year," said commissioning director Micheal O Meallaigh.
"The biggest challenge we face is convincing people to check what's on TG4. But we're offering a unique and distinctive viewing choice on Ireland's most innovative TV channel."