Autumn TV Special
The big shows and the big stars coming our way on the small screen
Alone At Home, Channel 4
Bedtimes, restricted screen time and mollycoddling are the bane of every child’s life but what would they do without these rules of behaviour? Alone At Home asks if modern parenting styles adequately prepare our children for adulthood. To work this out, each episode follows some siblings whose parents have been sent away for a long weekend.
American Vandal, Netflix
In the wake of the rst documentary’s success, Peter and Sam seek a new case and settle on a stomachchurning mystery at a Washington high school.
Blood, Virgin Media
This new Irish drama, starring BAFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar, airs on Virgin Media One this October. The six-part psychological thriller focuses on a woman who returns to her rural Irish home following her mother’s seemingly accidental death.
Brendan O’Carroll’s Britain, RTÉ One
Brexit is coming but so is Brendan O’Carroll. The irrepressible comic, a star in Britain and Ireland as a result of his hugely popular Mrs Brown’s Boys TV and stage shows, explores the turbulent yet intimate bonds of identity between the two countries.
Catastrophe, Channel 4
Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan’s critically acclaimed comedy returns for a fourth season. Rob Delaney con rmed that the upcoming series wrapped lming back in July. “Series 4 of Catastrophe is ‘in the can’ as they say,” he wrote. “It’s pretty good. Now we’ll edit it, add some music and ground-breaking CGI and then (at a date I don’t yet know) you’ll be able to watch it with your cousin Brad. I hope this news makes some people happy.”
The Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, Channel 4
The survivalist is back to maroon ten more brave (or foolhardy) celebrities for four weeks in one of the toughest environments on earth. This year, the group includes actor Eric Roberts, actor and musician Martin Kemp and model and TV personality Jo Wood among others.
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Netflix
Yes – she’s back! Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s reboot is based on The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina comic book. Could be a big hit with teenagers as well as some former ones.
The Circle, Channel 4
Social media has changed the way we make friends, assess popularity, conduct relationships, argue and even fall in love, but how truthful are our networked identities? In The Circle, people from all walks of life compete in an online popularity contest to win up to £50,000. The Circle will let them chat, make friends, argue and maybe even fall in love. Building their online pro les, contestants will only get to know each other from what they choose to reveal on The Circle.
Daniel and Majella’s USA Road Trip, RTÉ One
Having visited just about every B&B in the country, the duo head down the highways of the US, travelling from Chicago to North Dakota in an RV, like a cross between National Lampoon’s Vacation and Four Country Roads. Will they get a similar reception in the USA’s Midwest as they did in the west of Ireland?
Death and Nightingales, RTÉ One & BBC
Eugene McCabe’s acclaimed 1992 novel about a shattering 24 hours in the life of a young woman is adapted for the small screen by writer/ director Alan Cubitt ( The Fall). Set in Fermanagh in 1885, Death and Nightingales revolves around Beth Winter’s (Ann Skelly) decision to leave her authoritarian stepfather (Matthew Rhys) and run away with the charming Liam Ward (Jamie Dornan) on her 23rd birthday. It is an act that tears apart families and worlds. The threepart drama is a BBC production in association with RTÉ.
Doing Money, RTÉ & BBC
This 90-minute drama is based on the true story of Ana, a young Romanian woman who was snatched from a London street in broad daylight, tra cked to Ireland and used as a sex slave in a number of ‘pop up’ brothels. The international cast includes Allen Leech ( Downton Abbey) and Romanian actress Anca Dumitra. Doing Money is a BBC production in association with RTÉ.
Dr Eva’s Great Escape, RTÉ One
Healthy lifestyle guru Dr Eva Orsmond might have left the country but she has not abandoned the airwaves. In this three-part reality show, the good doctor and her South African husband, Wyatt, pursue a dream to transform a rundown Portuguese hotel into a weight-loss destination hotel in the sun.
Doctor Who, BBC One
The rst female Doctor (the steely Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Timelord) is not the only change for the BBC institution this season. There’s also a new showrunner (Chris Chibnall), a new look and a new narrative to run through the whole series. There’s also Bradley ( The Chase) Walsh. Some fans have said that if it ain’t broke after 55 years, why try to x it? Others say the Doctor is dead, long live the Doctor.
Finding Joy, RTÉ One
One woman gang, Amy Huberman, is writer and star of this quirky comedy drama in which Joy (that’s Amy), having being dumped by
her boyfriend, searches for a new beginning. Will trying to avoid her ex (and her ex’s glamorous new girlfriend) give Joy inner peace or just drive her round the bend? The cast also includes award-winning comedian Aisling Bea, Laura Whitmore and Jennifer Rainsford.
The First, Channel 4
Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone star in the The First, a new eight-part series created by Beau Willimon ( House of Cards, Ides of March).
Sean Penn, in his rst foray into television, leads an ensemble cast in a near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the rst humans to reach Mars.
“It’s a story about the human spirit, about our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons” (Beau Willimon on The First)
Gentleman Jack, BBC One
A new show from the great Sally Wainwright ( Last Tango in Halifax; Happy Valley) should be enough to rope in even the most jaded TV watcher. For the BAFTA award-winner, it’s a change of pace and period, as she chronicles the incredible life and times of Anne Lister, the 19th Century pioneer in travel, business and mountaineering, but perhaps most famously, the “ rst modern lesbian”. Suranne Jones works with Wainwright for the fourth time.
Get Shorty, Sky Atlantic
Season two of the comedy crime caper gets rolling as gangster Miles Daly (Chris O’Dowd) struggles to reconcile his ambition as a lm-maker and a family man with his skill set as a career criminal. Jeopardising his Hollywood dreams further is washed-up producer Rick (Ray Romano), who has agreed to wear a wire.
The Good Doctor, Sky Witness
A break-out success story of 2017, The Good Doctor broke records for a new series in the US. This October, Freddie Highmore returns to Sky Witness as the brilliant autistic surgeon Dr Shaun Murphy. With Shaun’s position at St Bonaventure Hospital still hanging in the balance, will the young surgeon have what it takes to break the preconceptions that surround him?
The Good Place, Netflix
Season three of this Net ix and NBC comedy about the afterlife takes us back to the Good Place (or the Bad Place!) and stars Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil and Manny Mendoza. Reincarnated and back on Earth after Michael’s argument on their behalf, Eleanor and her fellow condemned souls have another chance to nd the right road.
Chef’s Table, Netflix This season, meet four innovative chefs who are shaking up the food culture in Philadelphia, Istanbul, Bangkok and Barcelona.
The Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls The Cry
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina The Good Place