The Black Donnellys

2007, TV Show


I just watched the pilot ...

Jonathan Tucker and Olivia Wilde, The Black Donnellys

Question: I just watched the pilot episode of The Black Donnellys, and I have mixed feelings about this new drama. Overall, I liked it, and I am willing to give the show a chance. I love family crime shows like this, but it seems like a kiddie version Showtime's Brotherhood. I feel like the characters are way too young and innocent-looking to be such bad "Irish thugs," out for revenge with a do-or-die mentality. All the main characters have these baby faces that just don't match their attitudes and lifestyles. The one huge character that I feel is missing is the matriarch. Where is she? There is no way that an Irish family of four boys doesn't have a strong, overbearing mother in the picture. Maybe the mother will be introduced later, but I felt she needed to be introduced in the pilot. I understand that a show like this has to be a little watered down because it is on NBC, but I just don't think the premise is that believable with the actors they have chosen to play these characters, ... read more

Studio 60's Black-out Arrives Early

Having delivered its smallest audience to date this past Monday night, NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip will cede its 10 pm time slot to The Black Donnellys a week sooner than planned, starting Feb. 26, reports Variety. The Donnellys' fast-tracked premiere gives it an extra week on the air with a first-run lead-in from Heroes (which lapses into repeats Mar. 12). read more

The typical network M.O.: 12 ...

Question: The typical network M.O.: 12 people are watching a show, we've pretty much given up on it, we pull it for sweeps to try out a mid-season replacement. Now, I don't hate Studio 60 as much as you do, but I've got to be honest: 12 people are watching. So why would NBC keep it around for February sweeps and try out The Black Donnellys in the relative doldrums of March? Is it possible that NBC hasn't given up on Studio 60? I want some of what they're smokin' (a little Sorkin humor for ya). Sorry, Aaron (still love ya, buddy), but Donnellys is probably more deserving of the sweeps attention this time around. Answer: A more likely business-as-usual scenario would have been for NBC to pull Studio 60 for sweeps and replace it with repeats of the various Law & Order shows, or something else with juice. That NBC gave Studio 60 this last month to prove itself was an act of charity, one that most shows on the bubble don't get. But launching new shows during sweeps rarely happens. Last week's ... read more

I understand that 30 Rock is ...

Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock

Question: I understand that 30 Rock is going on a break for several weeks. Should I be worried? I love the show and thought it was doing at least decently, if not fantastically. Answer: Don't sweat this one needlessly. It's standard operating procedure in the spring, when a number of shows temporarily take a rest to give mid-season shows a tryout — in this case, Andy Richter's Andy Barker, P.I., which takes over 30 Rock's time period starting March 15. At least 30 Rock's return date has already been set: April 19, just in time for May sweeps. (Not so lucky: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which is taking an early hiatus starting March 5 to make room for The Black Donnellys. NBC says the rest of Studio 60's season will air, but has not disclosed when or where.) Of all of NBC's Thursday comedies, 30 Rock is probably the most vulnerable, and it was the expected choice to make way for a mid-season hopeful. So while you shouldn't be worried, you also shouldn't be 100 percent confident that ... read more

This Just In: NBC Subtracts 60 and 30 in March

A fresh release from NBC, cementing the plans to shelve Studio 60 as well as 30 Rock (!), to make room for two new series:"NBC's new mid-season drama The Black Donnellys will premiere on Monday, March 5 (10-11 pm/ET) — following the hit drama Heroes — while the new comedy Andy Barker, P.I., starring Andy Richter, will debut on Thursday, March 15 (9:30-10 pm)."Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip will return later this season on a date to be determined. 30 Rock will return... with original episodes on April 19, after Andy Barker completes its slate of episodes" and Alec Baldwin's SAG Award gathers a good inch of dust. Ahem.UPDATE: I've shared my detailed thoughts on this news in Comments. read more

Regarding NBC's new schedule, ...

Question: Regarding NBC's new schedule, you said that Aaron Sorkin should think of the network's decision to leave Studio 60 in the 10 pm Monday slot as a gift. Do you still feel that is the case, now that the network has announced plans to pull the show in March in favor of The Black Donnellys? When I saw the original press release, my theory was that they were going to let the show die by leaving it with an incompatible lead-in; now I feel like that was confirmed with the announcement of the March hiatus. The Black Donnellys audience would be much more compatible with the Heroes lead-in, and if the new series does well at 10, NBC will not return Studio 60 to that slot (or anywhere on the schedule, for that matter). I know you haven't been a big fan of Studio 60 lately, but I love the show. It really seems to be finding its footing, and for me, it is the most enjoyable hour of the week. It now seems like there is almost no chance for a second season, but I would really like to see NBC ... read more

What do you make of Studio 60 ...

Question: What do you make of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip being replaced by The Black Donnellys come March? I don't see it as all that bad of a sign, since if NBC lacked confidence in the show it wouldn't be keeping it on through February in the first place. However, if The Black Donnellys starts in early March, the 13 episodes would take it all the way to the end of the season. How do you expect NBC to handle Studio 60's remaining four episodes? Would they actually burn them off in the summer? That would send a bad message. Otherwise they'll need to find another night within the TV season, which would seem kind of silly for just four episodes. What do you think? Answer: Honestly, I appreciate the obsessive devotion it takes to do the math on these matters, but isn't it just a little nitpicky? There are several options, all contingent upon how Studio 60 does in the new year and how The Black Donnellys does upon its premiere, so it's kind of pointless to speculate right now. In the ... read more

NBC at Mid-season: Fridays Now on Wednesdays

At long last (about two weeks later than expected), a network has finally firmed up its January mid-season schedule. Makes sense that it happens to be a network with plenty of adjustments to make: in this case, NBC, which had probably the best lineup of new series this fall, but, without any hits to help launch them, has continued to struggle in the ratings (though its numbers are up from a year ago).The biggest surprise (to me) was the decision to keep Aaron Sorkin's increasingly uneven backstage-TV comedy-drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on Mondays, where it regularly bleeds away huge chunks of the rapt audience for Heroes, NBC's biggest scripted breakthrough hit in ages. This seems like a wasted opportunity for NBC to shore up a night that otherwise works tremendously. Sorkin had better regard this as a gift, and work to develop the show's characters so they live up to the promise of the cast he has assembled and the lavish production that he has built up around them.Critics' ... 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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