The Black Donnellys

2007, TV Show


March 12, 2007: The World Will Break Your Heart

Quick tip: There is an exclusive episode online that bridges the gap between this episode and last week’s episode. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest you watch it!This was a very quiet episode. And by "quiet" I mean no one died. In the exclusive episode, someone does die. After watching that episode and this one, my choice for favorite brother has changed. From the beginning, I was a Tommy fan. But poor Kevin (Billy Lush) tries so hard. You’ve got to give the guy some credit — he really does mean well. When we look back to the first episode, the brother who caused all of the drama was Kevin. He never meant for any of this to happen, but his gambling problem did get the Donnellys in way over their heads. However, the guy isn’t unlucky. He’s just not a good card player.Kevin promised Tommy he’d take care of the liquor and he asked Joey Ice Cream to come along with him. They were hilarious. I wonder if any of the show’s writers have ever... read more

I don't mean to beat a dead ...

Question: I don't mean to beat a dead horse here, but a while ago there was a lot of talk about whether or not Friday Night Lights should be considered a "family" show. After the recent stories on racial tension and the Julie-Matt sex story line, is there still any question that this is a show aimed directly at families? FNL is like the best Afterschool Special ever — and I say that in the most respectful way. It's such a wonderful show, and I sincerely hope it comes back next season. On the topic of next season: Since The Black Donnellys seems doomed, is there any chance we may see Studio 60 come back next season, maybe in a different time slot? Or is that pretty much dead in the water as well? Answer: The way I like to put it is that Friday Night Lights is the epitome of the thinking family's drama. It's not always going to be comfortable for parents and kids to watch together, because it doesn't pander. There are no saints here. But there are very strong values (and I say that in the ... read more

I am having a hard time ...

Question: I am having a hard time understanding how the networks are scheduling programs. To me, it just doesn't seem like the audience for Heroes is going to stick around to watch Studio 60 or The Black Donnellys. I don't think these shows mesh at all together. On ABC, they decided that the order of the Wednesday comedy block should be George Lopez, The Knights of Prosperity, According to Jim and In Case of Emergency. Again, I don't see how the audiences of each of those will stick around to watch the other shows. George and Jim are more family-oriented, and Knights and Emergency lean to adults. Unfortunately, shows like Studio 60 and Knights, both of which I like, are not getting fair chances by getting better scheduling. I'm curious about your thoughts on this. Answer: I don't really agree where Studio 60 is concerned. While it's true that Heroes cult fanatics aren't the perfect target audience for Studio 60, it was still a powerful lead-in, and NBC kept Studio 60 in the same time ... read more

Ratings: Heroes Takes Off with Three-month High

This Monday's notable numbers:8 pm/ETTrailing Deal or No Deal, Prison Break (9.73 million total viewers) was up 340K week-to-week. CBS' The Class was dismissed by a typical audience of 8.77 million.9 pmThe conclusion of Heroes' second arc (14.9 million, up 630K) — and the last fresh episode until, like, forever — delivered the series' largest audience since Dec. 4, outdrawing both a Two and a Half Men repeat and a thus-handicapped Rules of Engagement (12.6 million, down 1.1 mil). Fox's 24 (13.01 million) was up 200 thou.10 pmPlacing well behind a CSI: Miami repeat (14.27 mil), NBC's The Black Donnellys (7.04 million) lost 1.38 mil from its premiere, but is still 600,000 above Studio 60's last tally. What About Brian had one of its weaker outings, with an audience of just 4.78 mil (slipping 620K). read more

March 5, 2007: A Stone of the Heart

The original title of this show was supposed to be: The Truth According to Joey Ice Cream. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank whoever nixed that idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love the character, but I don’t get it. How does Joey (Keith Nobbs) know everything? Sure, he keeps saying, “Oh, well, I was there.” But he only painted himself into the background after his lawyer asked him how he knew what had happened. He never placed himself at the hospital, in the van, or where Tommy and Kevin got rid of Louie’s body.This episode was all about Tommy (Jonathan Tucker) and Kevin (Billy Lush). The best scenes have been between the two of them: last week during the elevator scene and this week in Nicky Cottero’s bar. When Tommy began to walk to the back room to see Nicky and saw Kevin sitting in a booth, I think we were all a bit shocked. I didn’t think they were on very good terms after they had beaten each other to the ground. Kevin had pulled a ... read more

Is this the unceremonious end ...

Question: Is this the unceremonious end for Studio 60? Suddenly preempted by Donnellys whatever? Studio 60 is intelligent, fast, terrifically funny; the stars are great, etc.. My friends and I eagerly anticipated every show. Is there any chance for it? How frustrating, how maddening, how sad if it's been removed forever. Replaced by yet another show with violence as one of its main characters. Nuts. Answer: Unceremonious, to be sure. Studio 60 was probably always going to take a spring breather to give some mid-season show a tryout, but when NBC rushed The Black Donnellys on the air a week early, it was clearly time to start preparing the eulogy. (Never mind that Donnellys is such a botch it makes Studio 60, whatever its faults, look like a winner.) I won't give you false hope on Studio 60's chances, but you never know if NBC will take a gamble on a star producer like Aaron Sorkin, not to mention that cast, and give it more rope, hoping it will redeem and not hang itself. Still, ... read more

I've written in with my ...

Question: I've written in with my ho-hum comic rip-off opinions about Heroes before, and while, to some extent, those opinions stand, I think it has really turned a corner in recent weeks. The episode featuring Horned-rimmed Glasses was without a doubt the best yet, featuring a truly touching ending that only a show as bizarre as Heroes or maybe Lost could ever hope to give us. It's really fun to see a show grow from average to great. I notice myself at first switching it on out of obligation, then slowly looking forward to its every airdate, until finally last week when we reached "so-good-I-have-to-pause-it-when-I-get-up-for-the-bathroom" status. I rarely give a show such an extended chance before dropping it, but in this case the superhero premise was enough to hook me for a season. Boy, am I glad I stuck around. Do you think we're seeing Heroes turn from so-so to a real phenomenon? On a related note, I watched the premiere of The Black Donnellys and was quite underwhelmed. I do feel ... read more

Streams Come True for Heroes, FNL Fans

Not only will Andy Richter's Andy Barker, P.I. premiere on, but the comedy's entire six-episode freshman season — including one episode that won't be shown on television — will be made available online before the show's March 15 broadcast debut, Variety reports. will also serve up a Web-only "bonus" episode of The Black Donnellys (reportedly because it didn’t pass muster with Standards & Practices) and, come March, take Medium online and begin streaming all episodes of Heroes and Friday Night Lights.Yowza, my dial-up at home is gonna be workin' overtime! read more

The Black Donnellys: Mob Drama for Dummies

With The Sopranos bowing out this spring, TV no doubt is in search of the next great family crime drama. After seeing five hours of The Black Donnellys (Mondays, 10 pm/ET, NBC), a feeble urban fable of doltish brotherhood in which blood runs thicker than brains, I imagine TV will have to keep looking. The Donnellys are four Irish-American street punks dragging each other down as they recklessly stir up violent clashes with the Irish and Italian mobs in New York City. To say these guys are stereotypes does insult to the clichés they clumsily represent. The centerpiece of this heavily serialized (uh-oh) story is Tommy (Jonathan Tucker, all dewy-eyed Tobey Maguire boyishness). He's the sensitive one, an art student whose ambitions are stalled because he has to keep cleaning up his brothers' messes. Making most of the messes is eldest bro Jimmy (Thomas Guiry), a hotheaded junkie who limps read more

February 26, 2007: Where Are the Bodies? (Pilot)

NBC is finally rising from the dead. First, they saved the cheerleader, now they’ve sucked us into family drama at its finest. Did everyone love Joey "Ice Cream" — “because under pressure, I’m like ice” — as much as I did? He is the greatest, most unreliable narrator I’ve ever listened to. The year of his story changed not once, not twice, but three times. He definitely has a talent for exaggerating the story to his advantage by placing himself into every situation as if he is the fifth Donnelly brother. I especially liked his description of the Irish: “The Irish have always been victims of negative stereotypes.... People think we’re all drunks and brawlers. And sometimes that gets you so mad all you want to do is get drunk and punch somebody.” I have a feeling the detectives will eventually lose their patience with Joey. The book across the face is definitely going to leave a mark.So, how much does Kevin owe the Italians? Even aft... read more

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Premiered: February 26, 2007, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (95 ratings)
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Premise: A drama that follows four Irish brothers in New York City and their experiences in organized crime.



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