The Black Donnellys

NBC (ended 2007)



User Score: 166


The Black Donnellys Fan Reviews (113)

out of 10
2,191 votes
  • NBC committed murder and should be brought to justice!!!!!

    Best show I've ever seen. Best story line. Best characters. I'm obsessed even after 7 years. I watch reruns all the time and I'd pay every cent I have to see the Black Donnellys make a come back.

    I'm a writer, so I've posted a story about the show, since I can't get enough. Check it out please! It's called "What We DIdn't Tell Joey Ice Cream" and it includes a bunch of stuff that Joey didn't know that went on throughout the show. Here's the link: 10306516/1/What-We-Didn-t-Tell-Joey-Ice-Cream

  • So bummed there was only one season!!

    I ditched cable, but i think this show would do really well as a Netflix show!!!! Bring it back, Netflix!!! I have to say, definitely one of the better shows out there on network tv!
  • Bring Back The Donnelly's !!!!!!!!!

    This is one of the best shows I've seen, NBC would be stupid to not bring it back.


    What Idiot cancelled this show? Who the hell failed to market it? This show could have very easily had a 7-10 seasons or more. Guess the only good thing about this show was the acting, camera work, writing, directing, film crew etc etc etc.

    Yup it needed to be cancelled

    This was an excellent TV Show, that I highly recommend. It had great actors and an awesome story line that never lost your attention. I truley wish NBC would bring this series back, they didn't receive great ratings because at the time of air The Saprano's was in it's sixth season. If they brought it back now, I believe they would get an outstaning amount of views. Most tv shows these days are lame and have no competition against The Black Donnellys! PLEASE bring it BACK so the FANS can see what happens next!!!! Instead of just leaving us all in Suspense.....
  • In truth a very poor show wrapped up like a great one, poor casting I don't believe them.

    I downloaded the whole series, I was so excited about this a great writer and director taking on a gritty story.

    I am afraid to say I am disappointed and think this show after seeing 6 episodes, is devastatingly poor but is a real shame as it should be great.

    OK first and importantly the casting is awful apart from the girl and the cop, the brothers excluding the youngest are not believable and also they are to young.

    The guy that plays the lead brother is doing his best Sean Penn angry, mumbling and grumbling act and to be honest I wouldn't follow this guy he doesn't inspire he has no weight.

    The writing leans very heavy on background music to lay the scene rather than letting the actors and the writing do it which says a lot.

    The mention of the Italians and the Irish, the Irish, the Irish, hell your Americans get over it divided you stand divided you fall. These guys couldn't point to Ireland on a map let alone come from the place.

    Overall this to me feels like the first 20 minutes of the film Sleepers, stretched out to a 12 episode series.

    A poor show wrapped up like a great one, I wish my generation would do better.
  • NBC cut it off because it was too gritty.

    NBC's excuse is the ratings, which were higher than many shows they have including Life, Heroes season 3, and Crusoe, as well as many others. It also had (and still has) higher ratings than Brotherhood(Showtime) AND the show it got replaced by! (Studio 60)

    The fact is NBC didn't want the show on their station because it was too gritty. My question is why in the world would they take this on in the first place if they didn't plan on keeping it?

    This was a heavy hitter, could've been better than The Sopranos.

    The show ended with the Donnelly's running, their mother getting shot, and the head of the Irish and Italian mob getting killed. I think NBC didn't want to keep TBD because season 2 would be too good, and too violent. It's obvious that season 2 would start with the Donnellys taking over the Irish mob and fighting with the Italians. The series would turn into an extremely well written mob show, it just blows my mind thinking of how awesome TBD would've been had they given it another season.
  • Four brothers, contrast trouble with a bit of romance. A truly magnificent show.

    I only just caught this show while cruising randomly online. encouraged by pure boredom was this a show to cure or what. It has everything needed for a top show. It deserves to be in the top 5 shows in my opinion but not only is it not in the top 50 but NBC had the nerve to cancel it. The characters were truly brilliant and the script was genius. While portraying a violent and criminally innovative scheme it finds a balance, contradiction and connection between love, family and crime.

    Following Sammy's struggle to keep his brothers safe the back story and setting have been perfected. Distilling the range of emotions evolved within living in the criminally corrupted poor Irish district within USA it clearly shows the criminal organizations war with each other.

    There is nothing to say or so but recognize the capability of this show to entertain. It is not the best show I've watched but it is a close third to supernatural and house.
  • This is a drama about 4 brothers living in New York City growing up in an organized crime family.

    This show some what reminds me of the sopranos. I liked this one better though because its showed the black irish side of organized crime. They shouldn't have cancelled it after only one season. I think the problem was that it was at a 10:00 P.M. timeslot which is one of the times when not too many people are watching TV. I also think that NBC should've tried to sell it to a cable network so it wouldn't have to end. Although I was disappointed about it getting cancelled, I was happy to see that NBC released a DVD for it.
  • A few of my favorite things

    I have so many reasons to love this show that I'm afraid I won't remember all of them in this review.

    First of all, it's the first network mob show that looks at organized crime without relying on stereotypes. TBD, like the Sopranos, doesn't focus all it's attention to the crime side of things. We learn that these characters have lives and loves outside of their criminal endevors and that sometimes these non-criminal forces influance the criminal side of their lives. Before TBD, every mob show on network TV relyied on so many cliches' that you almost expect every character to speak like Edward G. Robinson. Secondly, the show uses one of my favorite literary devices, the unreliable narrator. The story of the Donnely bros. is told to us by thier life long friend and accompliace, Joey "Ice Cream". The story gets muddied because Joey is telling this story to the police. Thus your not exactly sure how thruthful Joey is being.

    The cast, writing, and directions were all top notch, which begs the question "Why did this show fail?". one reason maybe that NBC was a bit unclear about thier scheduling when they added it. TBD was slipped into Heroes time slot while Hereos was on a bit of a hiatus. Some Heroes fans thought that Heroes had been cancelled and refused to watch TBD in protest. Then NBC moved it behind Hereos in the schedule, another programming boner. TBD would have done much beter rating wise if it was following another crime/drama (say Medium, L & O, or the also cancelled Crossing Jordan. Even Vegas would have been a beter lead for this show)

    The Black Donnelys is now available on DVD altough it is a bit hard to find in some areas. Enjoy
  • Amazing!!! Loved the pilot.

    I thought the pilot was amazing. When I first saw the previews I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch the show. But, as I kept seeing more and more, it really got my attention. I was I glad that I decided to watch this show. I thought it was one of the best pilot episodes I have ever seen. I can't wait till next week to see what happens. I really hope this show sticks around longer than some of those other new shows. This episode was very well written and the acting was amazing. I can't wait to see what happens in the future.
  • Easily the best show dumped in 2007. Strong characters and strong story.

    It`s a true shame that NBC dumped The Black Donnellys after only 6 Episodes on TV. The Show really deserved better. It`s also a shame that none of the cable Channels had the guts to take this great show in their program although they could have been sure that the viewers would have been followed.

    The show is about four irish brothers and their dangerous neighbourhood, where they made themselves some big problems by killing not only the boss of the italian mafia but also the boss of the irish mafia.

    The show has strong characters and a strong story. It`s strength lies mainly in the silent moments, in the well written dialogues and the funny moments between the four brothers, especially between Tommy, the most reasonable brother and the gangster-brother Jimmy.

    The show made it easily into my favourite shows and I´m still mad at everyone letting this show down.
  • NBC SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this could have been the next sopranos,no even better because it has much more likeable charachters.the fact that they replaced it with 'reality' crap like the 'real' wedding crashers makes my blood boil.i despair for the sad losers who watched that rehearsed garbage instead of this incredibally brilliant drama.i truely hope that this lost classic gets the cult viewership it deserves on DVD and that maybe box-set sales will convince another channel to pick it up cause i know nbc wont,they wouldnt dream of showing quality entertainment i mean come on they even tried to canncle jericho[thank god the public made them see sense].

    The Black Donnelly's was one of the greatest shows to come out this year, and then NBC pulled a farce in not sticking to its guns, a great writer/directer combo with Paul Hagis, not to mention what I beleive is great acting. NBC is going to be kicking itself when it realizes it gave up on what could have been a huge hit. The young actors, and the added support of some seasoned actors with Kirk Acevedo as Nicky Cottero and others, were really begining to step up and making this into a excellent show. there are loads of post online of woman asking for more scenes with Jonathon tucker, who could turn out to be a star. NBC didnt gove TBD much of a chance by only showing less than half of the episodes in prime time, not to mention the little debacle of moving the start date back for ER. While HDnet has picked up last season to air, it does not have enough veiwership to make the next season a success(although many have told mark cuban they will buy the channel if he does). HBO would be perfect for TBD especially since they need a show that has the same kind of Draw as The Sopranos, of which they have nothing to fill the void. In the wake of John from Cincinati, the Black Donnelly's could be HBO's next great Drama, I beleive this first season already made it one of Network telivisions greatest dramas and biggest dibacles
  • Four brothers destined for a life of crime now trapped in a struggle between themselves, and what's right and wrong.

    Single handedly the best T.V. show NBC ever produced and one of the greatest follies due to the lackluster leadership from NBC. This show had the potential to be bigger then "heroes" or "the office" and even the "sorpranos" It is my greatest disappointment of last fall...and now my greatest source of anger since NBCs failure to announce a second season. My only hope is that DVD sales will further the ambitious people of HDnet to produce a Second Season. Which is where the show is currently able to be viewed on T.V. Please purchase the DVD from this week there's a special, force NBC or Mark Cuban of HDnet to make a second season!!!
  • The story of 4 Irish American boys trying to grow up in Hells Kitchen, NY...and trying to survive through their own mistakes.

    The Black Donnellys was one of those shows that was either praised or reviled. There was no middle ground.

    Unfortunately television critics & Nielsen boxes tend to have more leverage than the average Jane or John Doe on a Monday night, and after 6 episodes, including one deemed 'too violent for network television', NBC gave it the axe.

    It would have been nice had NBC been thoughtful enough to let The Black Donnellys finish it's run over the summer, to see if it could find it's niche, but instead, fans must settle for viewing the episodes on their website, if they are from the U.S., downloading on iTunes and/or the much anticipated DVD release on September 4th, 2007.
  • I Can't believe they canceled this show!

    I loved this show I watched it until the end. I wanna know what happens next! I cant believe they canceled this show they way they did. Yet they leave dumb reality shows and all that crap on for seasons and seasons like stupid American Idol how dumb. I actually liked this one & they go and cancel it! How upsetting! I wish they would bring it back or atleast maybe make a movie out of it. It sort of reminded me of my favorite movie the Boondock Saints. They really really need to bring this show back. WHo makes these stupid decisions to cancel really great shows?
  • WHy????

    I had just started to like this show and it had to go off aire,it showed how thier life was after their father died and others. If this show was 2 return I would be right there in front of the tv! ! ! This show gave me in sight on how the life of brothers and how they would do any thing to protect each other and the rest of there family. I think that if this show were 2 reaire then more ppl might watch this show and get a better understanding of the show and how there life is or was.
  • Definately deserved AT LEAST a full season! It will be missed!

    The Black Donnellys was a great show. The characters were priceless and it was acted superbly. Some of my favorite characters were Joey Ice Cream and Tommy (and his abs)! The four brothers were very different characters, which helped the show remain interesting. (Although their differences didn’t keep them from genuinely caring about and protecting each other.) This isn’t your average gang drama, but more of a story of a tight-knit family fighting together to overcome hardships. The plot is gripping and keeps you guessing (as most great shows do). Overall, The Black Donnellys deserved to be around a long time. It had everything going for it, and it should have been greatly appreciated.
  • This show brought something new to television, and I will definitely miss it!

    A show about 4 brothers and their mother living in a city in a real-world environment is important. Many shows are for teens or older adults and involve gangs, families, or sci-fi/supernatural plots. However, this show involved a family dealing with real issues in a city, but is not the usual gang-themed show. It was great to follow such a close family with different experiences for each member because it showed family togetherness without the cheesy "Full House" thing. This show brought something new and different to prime time television and I am definitely going to miss it! I was engaged through every episode and I hate that it's canceled! >:-(
  • This show was awsome. I can't believe they cancelled it.

    I love the Black Donnellys. Jimmy is the oldest and he gets into the most trouble. If it wasn't for Tommy, Jimmy would be in jail. Kevin is the gambler of the family, but he never wins. He is constantly borrowing money from Tommy. Sean is the baby of the family. Tommy only killed someone because they attacked Sean. This show was awsome. I was looking forward to watching it. I wish they never cancelled it. I hope that they decide to bring it back. I love the Donnelly brothers. They can fight with eachother and still kill people to protect one another.
  • Greatest Show!

    The Black Donnell's is the greatest show that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. I was hooked form the first minute and everyone I show it to is addicted also. It would have spread like wildfire!

    Please watch this show at

    Nbc is dumb for canceling it!



  • i can't really stand this show, i mean it can be good, but usually bad

    It's ironic that NBC put Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on hiatus to launch The Black Donnellys: Both come from esteemed writers (Aaron Sorkin for 60; Crash's Paul Haggis for Donnellys); both are shot in somber amber-brown hues to signal their serious artistic import.

    But whereas 60 was meant to be a thinking viewer's froth, The Black Donnellys is a thinking viewer's head-scratcher: A dense family saga about four shady Irish brothers in a rough New York neighborhood who mix it up with Italian mobsters, the series is equal parts thriller and soap opera. I'd break down all the boys for you, but they're just varying degrees of hotheadedness, with Tommy (Jonathan Tucker) the smartest. That means that he feels conscience pangs when he has to kill and double-cross, and he's the lucky unlucky guy whom gorgeous Jenny (Olivia Wilde, The O.C.'s most-excellent lesbian) falls for.

    The network emphasizes Haggis' Crash credit, but it's his 1996 TV series EZ Streets, a short-lived muddle, that Donnellys really resembles. Haggis equates the slow revealing of character and plot with classy writing; you'll probably experience it as stuff you can see coming a mile away.

    The acting is uniformly excellent, but the guy who's the chief Irish villain (Peter Greene) is saddled with a lame device — he carries an ax rather than a gun. Chop-chop, no bang-bang. Good luck, all: Following Heroes with these morose antiheroes is gutsy and, like these characters, probably doomed
  • Great pilot but went downhill from there.

    When I first heard about The Black Donnelys I was excited. When you hear the name Bob Haggis you know it must be good. Also Kirk Acevedo on the cast was a reason for me to watch. After seeing the pilot I was even more excited. It was absolutely a great pilot. Everything was there. Excitement, intrigues, family issues, all tied together with great music. But after the pilot it went downhill fast. The storylines weren't interesting anymore and I felt that every episode was the same. It soon became boring and I had to force myself to watch. At that point I knew The Black Donnelys wasn't for me. I also got more and more anoyed with Jonathan Tucker and Olivia Wildes performances. I think that the show could have used better actors than that.

    So overall i'm disappointed that the show didn't live up to my expectations. But hey, that's television.
  • I can't believe they took this off the air and didn't even give it a chance!

    I loved this show for the short time it was on air. I continued to watch it on which was actually better in my opinion since there is limited commercial interruption. I can't believe they didn't even give it a chance though it had such great potential and the final episodes on were awesome. Bring it back!
  • I dident know this show was taken off the air!!

    That's kinda stupid that NBC took this show off, I liked it, I only watched the first 2 episodes, but still, I watched it whenever I could, Why would they cancel it? I watched Heroes more, and tryed staying awake to watch this show, but most times, I had to either do homework, or I just forgot about it, but the 2 episodes that I did watch were excelent! I don't really remeber what happend in them, but I do remeber that they were really good. I liked the whole mobster/gangster theme. We need more shows like that, which portray the darker side of American city life.
  • A standout on television. This show is very controversial. Some love it, some hate it. It inspires emotions. Draws you in to the world of the Donnellys. It touches you as though it were real. Every episode is discussed in depth and debated at length.

    This show is very unique. It breaks some rules. It gets at the heart of the matter. It does not gloss over anything. It shows the ugly truth. It shows the beauty and trap of love. It engages your mind and heart. It's masterful. It's movie quality. The writing and acting is excellent. After so much shallow, easy TV it's simply hard for people to take a show seriously. This show needs to be taken seriously. It is not the average "throw in anything", it's a complete story each episode connected intricately.
    No other show can say that.
  • Canceled? I HaD kNoW IDEA this is why I canceled my Cable and will no longer what TV. Networks Suck!!!! This was a great show.

    Canceled? I HaD kNoW IdEA this is why I canceled my Cable and will no longer what TV. Networks Suck!!!! This was a great show. I though it was just on hold till the new episodes were made. Nothing good on tv anymore all reality crap and game shows. Game shows? At Night? who would have thought that crap would ever be in prime time. Back to DVD's and Downloads and web-episodes.
  • I love this show. This was the best show on at 10pm on Mondays. have known about it. Please bring it back.

    I love this show. This was the best show on at 10pm on Mondays. I don't think it was given a fair chance, it was advertised very little and then had a couple of shows and boom off the air it went. They should have promoted it as much as they do Heroes and then maybe more people would have known about it. Please bring it back.
  • I love this show I am very disappointed that it was cancelled!!!

    This show takes place in Hells Kitchen. It is a story about 4 brothers that that are "black irish" and the events and relationships that surround them. I cant believe they cancelled this show. People would have watched it had Heroes been on during its run. I am glad at least that you can see full episodes on I think if this show had more publicity then it would have caught on. There are great characters and actors who play them. This show has a cult like following. Please bring it back!!! Another NBC show bites the dust (Kiddnapped).
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