The Black Donnellys: NBC Puts a Hit on the Drama

The Black DonnellysIt looks like the axe has fallen for the Paul Haggis/Bobby Moresco drama The Black Donnellys. But does it have to be replaced by a reality show?

The Black Donnellys follows the story of four young Donnelly brothers — a clan of Catholic Irish-American siblings who are involved in organized crime in New York’s infamous Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The story is told by unreliable narrator and Donnelly childhood friend named Joey “Ice Cream” while being incarcerated. The series stars Jonathan Tucker, Thomas Guiry, Olivia Wilde, Billy Lush, Michael Stahl-David, Kirk Acevedo and Keith Nobbs.

The series debuted on NBC on February 26, 2007 and took the place of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on Monday nights. The series’ initial half hour did well (10 million) but viewership fell off significantly in the second half hour (6 million). The series’ initial hour ranked #50 for the week. The subsequent episodes lost viewers and attracted as few as 5.5 million.

Should The Black Donnellys return?

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While many hoped that a Donnelly dismissal would mean the return of Studio 60, NBC has other plans. The Real Wedding Crashers will debut at 10pm on Monday nights beginning April 23rd, just in time for May sweeps. It seemed like the Crashers reality show would air on Sunday nights but, NBC execs like the series enough to give it the benefit of a post-Heroes debut.

Unless NBC pulls the series even earlier, only eight episodes of Donnellys will have aired on network TV. The series’ third episode, entitled “God is a Comedian Playing to an Audience Afraid to Laugh,” was considered too violent for network TV and was released as an exclusive.

The network has ordered 13 episodes and its unknown at this point what will become of the remaining four segments. They may air over the summer or could be released as online exclusives.

Whether we get to see the rest or not, it looks unlikely the series will be back for a new season in the Fall. NBC will announce their Fall schedule next month. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

UPDATE: NBC has now pulled Donnellys’ last scheduled episode due to low ratings. The unaired episodes will be made available on, presumably on a weekly basis.

Canceled and renewed TV show

369 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. KEV J says


  2. Americaningermany says

    The best NBC could do is dump the wedding crappers reality show and bring back Studio 60. Then their next move should be to dump another mindless reality show and bring back The Black Donnellys. NBC-WAKE UP AND GIVE US WHAT WE WANT!

  3. Chad says

    Way to go NBC taking off a really good show. Bought the season so I could find out how it ended. How can you pull a show that made me sit on the edge of my seat just wondering what was going to happen next. I need to know. Not going to be watching NBC anymore!!!!! not even for Heroes.
    In closing, NBC you really, really, really, messed this one up!!!!!!

  4. Doyle says

    Me and my brothers love this show. I neeed it. Man.. We stopped watching so much of Heros to watch more BD. The new season of Heros isn’t even that good. A new season of The Black Donnelys would be though.

  5. J says

    How many more of these dumb “reality” shows do we need? I watch tv to get AWAY from reality….. And these “reality” shows have nothing to do with reality anyway. Seriously. Let’s do a show with the troops in Iraq. Or how about one that is in Hell’s Kitchen with real mobsters? But the reality is, tv caters to people that think that what they see on these “reality” shows is really truly how life is….. Bring back the Donnelly boys. Atleast they were more real than the Crashers…..

  6. noah bostrom says


  7. joey urbinatto says

    wow this is truely terrible – this was my favorite show – i cant believe nbc cancelled it – btw the article says the last 4 episodes might not air – u can get them on itunes for like 2 bux

  8. Kaulins Akins says

    Why would this happen I was looking forward for another season. I kept looking on Monday nights for it and just found…no mroe show:(

  9. Rachel says

    this is really disappointing! this was such a good show and it had a lot of potential! Someone needs to pick it up because i need to watch it!!

  10. Marty says

    being irish with brothers of my own, it was cool to finally be able to relate to a show on tv. im tired of getting really into a show and having what ever !@#$ing network running it deside to pull it no matter how popular it is!!!theres so many! firefly! undeclaired! over there! and THEN SHOWS LIKE “WILL AND !@#$ING GRACE” AND “GILMORE GIRLS” stay on the air for like 8 to 10 years! ive never posted a comment about any show untill NOW! this has gotta stop!! what dose sombody have to do to start a BOYCOTT??? if i knew how id have done it by now! the public are the ones watching the shows, and we should be doing somthing to keep the ones we enjoy.

    please post some suggestions!

  11. Tina says

    I just watched what I think was the last episode of this show on HD TV and it was awesome! It only left me wanting more. NBC was foolish to pull it. I watched every week and loved it until they canceled it. Someone should bring it back for a second season.

  12. anonymous says

    we love this show, we actually found some new shows on the HDNET channel. It never fails everytime a good show comes on they take it off and replace it with some sitcom or reality show.

  13. Sica says

    Don’t take this show off the air. Bring it back for a fall season. It’s a good show. My husband and I looked for it on t.v. for weeks after the last episode. There wasn’t even a warning that it was going to be taken off the air. We think that you should give it another chance.

  14. Butter and Suzie says

    My husband and I never seemed to find any tv showes that we both liked until the Black Donnellys came on. We would look forward to watching the broad cast ever week. Then without notice it was gone. We really hope that NBC puts this awesome show back on.
    Sincerly Suzie

  15. Colette Ontiveros says

    I rarely watch t.v. but I got hooked on the Donnelys through itunes. I can’t believe you cancelled it. That and Heroes are the only shows I watch. I won’t watch nbc anymore. Why should I get hooked on a great show and you cancel it. Thanks for nothing!

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