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The Donnellys are four young, working-class Irish brothers involved in New York City's organized crime. Detectives investigate Joey Ice Cream, a life-long friend of the Donnellys who introduces the four brothers, setting the scene for the series.
Kevin Donnelly feels that he's on a hot streak, but when his gambling begins to add up, the eldest Donnelly brother, Jimmy, is forced to kidnap the bookie that Kevin owes money to. When the news of the kidnapping spreads around the neighborhood, connecting the Donnellys to the incident, the youngest brother, Sean, pays the price for having the Donnelly name. Meanwhile, Tommy Donnelly, the most reliable of the brothers, has to sacrifice for his family when Jimmy's plan lands Sean in the hospital.
This episode was released by Netflix for early viewing prior to its premiere on NBC.
Paul Haggis originally wrote this pilot episode in 1997 after his series EZ Streets
was canceled after 9 episodes.
Ratings: 7.93 million viewers
Tommy: Where you going?
Kevin: Wherever you are.
Kevin: Me and Jimmy went downtown with goodness in our hearts to work out a deal. But Louis starts threatening me. I mean, what was I supposed to do?
Tommy: Kevin, everybody knows who did this. You kidnap somebody, they're not supposed to know who you are.
Kevin: Tommy, you think we're stupid. We wore masks.
Tommy: You went down there with goodness in your hearts but you wore masks?
Jimmy: Hey, no banging on the machines!
Joey: What? It took my money!
Jimmy: It's supposed to take your money!
The Black Donnellys
The series title is named after an Irish family that lived in Ontario, Canada during the mid 1900s. The Donnelly family was brutally murdered and house was set on fire after they were caught in a deadly feud between the Catholics and Protestants.