The Black Donnellys

NBC (ended 2007)
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2,199 votes
  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 13

    Easy Is The Way


  • S 1 : Ep 12

    The Black Drop


  • S 1 : Ep 11

    Wasn't That Enough?


  • S 1 : Ep 10

    When The Door Opens


  • S 1 : Ep 9

    All of Us Are in the Gutter


  • Cast & Crew
  • Jonathan Tucker

    Tommy Donnelly

  • Thomas Guiry

    Jimmy Donnelly

  • Billy Lush

    Kevin Donnelly

  • Michael Stahl-David

    Sean Donnelly

  • Olivia Wilde

    Jenny Reilly

  • Photos (16)
  • show Description
  • The Black Donnellys follows the exploits of four young, working-class Irish brothers. Their involvement in organized crime in New York City will put their life at risk and they will do anything to protect each other from the hostility between them and the others New York families who want their territory. The series is produced by NBC Universal Television Studio in association with Blackfriars Bridge Productions.

  • Top Contributor
  • Ho_Man

    User Score: 166


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (204)

    • Tommy: If you're in that much pain, Jimmy, why don't you just jump off a roof?

    • (Kevin is losing badly at Blackjack to Louie) Louie: You owe me nine hundred. Kevin: Okay, once more throught the deck. Louie: No. I'm not playin' no more. Kevin: No, no, no. I'm down nine hundred. Damn right you're gonna keep playing. Louie: You're not gonna pay me. So, why should I play? Kevin: Are you calling me a welcher? Louie: So, this is a real game and you're gonna pay me? Kevin: (pause) I'll pay you out of the ransom money.

    • Joey Ice Cream: (talking to the detective in a voiceover) Now, a couple years before, Jenny, she married a schoolteacher. The teacher forgets to mention he hires drug dealers to pay for his student loans. He goes into hiding, somebody stuffs him in an oil drum. Nobody had the heart to tell Jenny. I mean, even me. And we were like an item! Jenny: Bug off, Joey. Joey Ice Cream: She's a great girl, isn't she.

    • Jenny: You know, when I hear about it, the person who told me thought it was you. I thought, what if he dies and never knows that I loved him.

    • Joey Ice Cream: Now Kevin had always thought of himself as a gambler. He always believed he was lucky. The fact that he'd never won a bet in his life somehow never dissuaded him of this notion.

    • Joey Ice Cream: See, all through history, people have accused the black Irish of every crime that came along. They were supposed to have gypsy blood or Spanish or something. But my grandmother told me that before the Celts even showed up in Ireland, there was a race of dark-haired people who the Celts then proceeded to wipe out. But they could never get them all. And a few of them ended up at the Firecracker Lounge.

    • Joey (narrating): Tommy could drive anything. Before he became Mother Teresa, he had a big time penchant for joy riding

    • Huey: Jimmy's the only problem. He's a punk and a doper. He'll be more comfort to his mother dead than alive. Tommy's a smart boy. When Jimmy's gone, he'll be able to say he did what he could. As long as it's only Jimmy, cause anything other than that, it'll be me with the problem.

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    Notes (28)

    • International Airdates: - Denmark: November 27, 2007 on Kanal 5

    • Due to licensing restrictions and changing air dates, there are at least two versions of the pilot. The pre-air version featured some tracks that were removed before the official air date on February 26th, 2007.

    • Featured Music: "Arianna" by Isobel Griffiths "Open Your Eyes" by Snow Patrol "The Moment I Said It" by Imogen Heap "Smooth" by Santana "Hella Good" by No Doubt "Are You Gonna be My Girl" by Jet "Celtic New Year" by Van Morrison "Beautiful Things" by Andain "Sleepy Maggie" by The Mad Maggies "How Could I Forget" by The Faint

    • The pilot was aired in a special extended format that featured the first half hour being uninterrupted by commercials.

    • The pilot for The Black Donnellys was written already in 1997, shortly after creator Paul Haggis' similarly themed, short-lived show EZ Streets was cancelled.

    • The name of the show comes from the nickname for an Irish immigrant family who lived in Ontario, Canada in the mid-to-late 1800's. The Donnelly family was caught in a feud between Catholics and Protestants, and five family members were brutally murdered before their house was set on fire. Creator and executive producer Paul Haggis is a native of London, Ontario, and has used the local historical folklore as an inspiration for the series. However, other than the name and the family's Irish heritage, the series and the real Donnelly family have no connection.

    • The show is loosely based on creator and executive producer Robert Moresco's own background.

    • The series was originally expected to debut during fall 2006 but was later bumped up to January 2007 to replace ER during its hiatus. During fall 2006, ER had such great ratings that NBC decided to scrap the hiatus, and The Black Donnellys was pushed back to March 2007. However, another NBC newcomer, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, turned out to be bit of a disappointment, and The Black Donnellys was bumped up to fill its timeslot in February 2007.

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    Trivia (13)

    • The area Tommy and Kim are walking in is Washington Square Park in the village also known as "The unoffical NYU commons" because it is surrounded by bulidings for the school.

    • Jimmy's and Tommy's hair are different in this episode: Jimmy's hair is longer and Tommy's hair is shorter, though the episode is a Pilot continuation.

    • In this episode, Tommy and Kevin line shopping bags with aluminum foil to jam radio signals from anti-theft devices. The brothers should have used tin foil, which will block these signals, instead of aluminum foil, which actually amplifies these types of signals.

    • When Tommy and Helen are escorted out of the ward, Tommy opens a door and is about to close. But in the next shot, the door is wide open.

    • Huey's full name is Hugh William Farrell. Kate's full name is Katherine Regina Farrell. Matthew's full name is Matthew William Hugh Farrell. Dokey's full name is Derek Timothy Farrell.

    • Beginning with this episode, after the end credits, Joey can be seen and heard getting in one more last word.

    • When Nicky is being beaten up, the blood on his head reappears and disappears between shots.

    • The bike taxi rides past Tommy and Kevin twice after they collect money from the man.

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    Allusions (12)

    • Title “Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart.” The title of this episode is taken from this line in the poem Easter, 1916 by famous Irish poet W.B. Yeats.

    • Title "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." This is a reference to French philosopher and writer Voltaire, who said “God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” Voltaire was one of the greatest of all French authors, 1694-1778.

    • Title "To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart." The title of this episode is taken from a quote by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

    • Title "For a moment the lie becomes the truth" The title of the episode comes from this quote by Dostoevsky.

    • Title "If ever I was sure that someone was coming to help me, I should run like hell." The title of the episode comes from this quote by Thoreau.

    • Title The Only Thing Sure The title comes from the quote "The Only Sure Thing About Luck Is That It Will Change" by Bret Harte.

    • Title "In Each One a Savior" Comes from Demian by Hermann Hesse, "In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a savior is crucified."

    • Title "All of Us Are in the Gutter" The title comes from the quote "All of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" by Oscar Wilde.

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  • Fan Reviews (119)
  • Bring back The Black Donnelly's

    By vicvinegat, Jun 23, 2015

  • Bring back the donnellys!!!!!

    By NathanDelonge, Jun 02, 2015

  • Best Show Ever!

    By AmyCafardi, May 10, 2015

  • The Black Donnellys

    By pattipensanti, Jan 14, 2015


    By richarddockter5, Jan 02, 2015

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