Red Rock is an award-winning Irish soap opera created by Peter McKenna. During its first year of participation in the Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTAs), the series was nominated for eight awards, and ultimately won three, including the award for Best Soap.
Produced by Element Pictures and Company Pictures, #RedRock focuses on a garda (police) station in a fictional Dublin town. This is not your average police procedural, however. Described as a “rollicking blend of police procedural and kitchen sink drama”, the main emphasis of the show is on the long-time feud between the Kiley and Hennessy families- a feud that the local police must often step in to extinguish.
RR premiered on January 7th of 2015 and has garnered critical acclaim and impressively high ratings ever since. Its gripping first season finale, broadcast on June 14th of 2015, brought in 235,600 viewers, and reportedly “commanded an average share of 14.41%”. The cliff-hanger had viewers glued to their seats; many social media users rushed to share their feelings. Viewer Laura Slatterly tweeted “Literally jaw-dropping end to #RedRock. As billed. My face did exactly the same thing as all the celebrities in the promo video.”
The RR production team are tasked with an extremely rigorous schedule in order to release such a large number of episodes per season. In eight days, the cast and team create four episodes, while the next five days are devoted to its editing. As a result of this intensive schedule, the cast and production team took a three-month summer break to recharge. Unfortunately, the ratings suffered slightly as a result.
Due to this drop in ratings, producers have reported that there may not be a break in production during the summer of 2016. David McRedmond, former chief executive of TV3 has been quoted as saying that the #RR series is “the most important thing that TV3 has ever done. “
It is assumed that when UTV Ireland took away the TV3’s rights to Coronation Street and Emmerdale, TV3 decided to create their own original series. Instead of spending twelve to fifteen million to buy the rights to these shows, the network instead produced #RedRock. Eddie O’Mahoney, an executive at Core Media (an Irish media buyer), has elaborated by saying that instead of buying someone else’s show, over which TV3 would have very little control, they did something different with #RR. He continues, “With Red Rock [TV3 is] controlling where [the show] is going. If you don’t watch it live you may watch it on their Player afterwards”.
TV3 has recently been taken over by Virgin Media Ireland, however, it’s unlikely that this will have an effect on the show’s survival. When TV3 originally picked up Red Rock, they had commissioned one hundred and sixty episodes. The first season was composed of forty-four episodes while the second was composed of thirty-six (as per the IMDb website). This gives a total of eighty episodes. Eight episodes of the third season have aired thus far, bringing us a running total of eighty-eight episodes. This means we’ve only just hit the half-way mark.
Because of these numbers, Red Rock will likely remain on air until the close of its fourth season, at least.
In addition to these one-hundred and sixty commissioned episodes, TV3 has also struck a deal with Amazon’s programming service, Amazon Prime. This one-million-dollar deal will give Amazon Prime members the opportunity to watch the first eighty episodes of Red Rock whenever they would like.
If you’d like to catch up on Red Rock, the TV3 website has the last five episodes available for streaming.
International viewers however, will, unfortunately, just have to wait until the series is added to the Amazon Prime lineup.October 20, 2016