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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.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x1
Airdate: Monday February 26th, 2007

Alternate Airdates:

Turkey Jul 09, 2007
DE (Sat. 1) Sep 05, 2007
UK (itv2) Sep 27, 2007
NL (RTL 7) Apr 03, 2009

  • Currently 10/10
10/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
Allan Steele
As Detective Collero
Chris Bauer
As Huey Farrell
Jimmy Walsh
As Jimmy Donnelly (Age 11)
Lauren Bittner
As Mary Ann Maxwell
Ned Eisenberg
As Detective Frankie Stein
Audrie J. Neenan
As Gertie (as Audrie Neenan)
Daniel Manche
As Kid in Madras Shirt
David C. Roehm, Sr.
As Gurney Patient
Dylan Hartigan
As Young Joey
Elizabeth Gillies
As Jenny (Age 9)
Frank Page
As Richie
Glenn Taranto
As Counter Guy
Greg D'Agostino
As Italian Maffia Muscle Soldier
Jay Spadaro
As Michael Hogan
John Cenatiempo
As Italian Soldier #2
Joseph D'Onofrio
As Louie Downtown
Jude Moresco
As Another Guy
Kathleen Doyle
As Helen Donnelly
Lance Michael Schaefer
As Sean (Age 7)
Lenny Venito
As Benny Cool
Mark Margolis
As Sal Minetta
Max Miner
As Tommy (Age 9)
Paul Calderon
As Detective
Richard Petrocelli
As Italian Soldier #1
Sean Cory
As Store Owner
Sonny Marinelli
As Detective Sunny
T.J. Stanton
As Kevin (Age 8)
Episode Notes
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

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
AndainBeautiful Things 
Carlos SantanaSmooth 
EminemLose Yourself 
Imogen HeapThe Moment I Said It 
JetAre You Gonna Be My Girl? 
Snow PatrolOpen Your Eyes 

Episode Quotes
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!

Cultural References
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.

Warning: The Black Donnellys season 1 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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