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NBC Pulls Television Drama 'Black Donnellys', No Word on Studio 60


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Variety is reporting that NBC has pulled troubled drama The Black Donnellys off the air, with the remaining episodes likely to be burned off on the networks website. Donnellys has fared even worse than the critically acclaimed yet ratings challenged dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip by a fair margin.

NBC has announced that Donnellys will be replaced by yet another bizarre experiment called Thank God You're Here, some sort of improv comedy. Despite this, there are industry reports that Studio 60 is still in production as of the end of March. (Past Deadline)

I got the scoop this very afternoon from Lesley Cerwin, the NBC publicist assigned to the show, and she confirmed that production on episode 19 was scheduled to be completed today and work on episode 20 commenced on Thursday.

This isn't surprising given that NBC gave Studio 60 a full season order before it was pulled off the air in favor of Donnellys. It has raised questions about why NBC would continue to pay for the production of an expensive television show that it refuses to air, in favor of even lower rated failures.

Though you might as well say that Donnellys has been cancelled, Studio 60 most certainly has not. Believe me when I say that if and when that happens, you'll know about it rather quickly. Let this also be a lesson of just how tough it is to get and keep a successful show on the air.

Donnellys was created by Academy award winning writer Paul Haggis, and his show didn't even make it as far as Studio 60 managed to. 60 if you'll note was created and mostly written by Emmy Award winning writer Aaron Sorkin, an A-list commodity if there ever has been one in television.

In all likelihood, you'll see the rest of Studio 60 sometime this summer, and that'll be it. I'd like to think that it isn't really abnormal for something like this to happen. Take a sports analogy if you will, where even the highest paid player in baseball slugger of all-time walks back to the dugout an average of 70% of the time.

Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and try again, and don't think for an instant that the feeding frenzy over another Sorkin drama won't be as big or bigger than this one was.

Update: I've been meaning to note on this page that while Black Donnellys has been canceled, Studio 60 will be returning to the lineup May 24th, Thursday nights at 10PM. My condolences to all you Black Donnellys fans. Rash decisions on new shows are becoming far too common these days.

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Apr 16, 2007, 9:28:00 PM
I don't understand why NBC would pull "Black Donnelys." If you ask me, it is the best show they have aired on the network. So the ratings were poor. Theres only been what 5 or 6 episodes so far, they didn't even give people time to catch on. I'm going to miss watching this show. And as for NBC, I'll just say this, in the future I'll refuse to watch anymore shows from your network. They get people to start getting interested in something and yank it before it can pick up, so why should I try to watch anymore shows, chances are you'll yank them too.


Apr 16, 2007, 9:41:00 PM
I agree, the black donnelys is a great show. I just got home and a friend told me they cancelled the show. Im pissed off, now I have nothing to watch when I get home from night school on Mondays. NBC sucks balls.


Apr 24, 2007, 4:17:00 AM
I am so pissed I really loved this show and I actually looked forward to mondays...who looks forward to mondays. In my opinion this was one of the best shows out there. they did not give it enough time to evolve...I am really pissed!!!


Apr 24, 2007, 3:22:00 PM
nbc should reconsider this, the black donnelys is a great drama.


Apr 24, 2007, 4:46:00 PM
I watched and enjoyed The Black Donnellys, but I would hardly say I will mourn its passing. Compared to the eminantly popular Heroes and truly original and well-casted Sudio 60 that it has shared the Monday Night spot with, it is (in a very literal sense) third rate. If this makes the return of Studio 60 a little more likely, or allows NBC to put out another fantastic series (as they have been starting some real winners over the last two years), then this cancellation is a minor passing in the annals of television.


Apr 25, 2007, 2:58:00 PM
The canceling of " Black Donnelys " demonstrates that NBC's ultimate goal is to have an audience with a collective IQ of around 32. Dick, from Brick


May 1, 2007, 1:17:00 AM
seriously why would you cancel a good show like the black donnelys so soon? what kind of jackasses are running NBC?


May 1, 2007, 1:18:00 AM
seriously why would you cancel a good show like the black donnelys so soon? what kind of jackasses are running NBC?


May 1, 2007, 12:25:00 PM
I also agree! The Black Donnelys was different, interesting and intelligent. Unlike all the reality crap that is on now-a-days. My wife and I were just talking about how it was nice to get into a serious drama that didnt have CSI in the title. We do not need more reality crap, we do not need another cop or ER show. This was a big mistake, canceling the show. Give it time. Friends took a while to catch on, if you remember.


May 4, 2007, 8:02:00 AM
Are you nuts? This is one of the best shows aired in a long time. People are getting sick of Skate dancing and Reality tv. Grow some Balls


May 6, 2007, 1:16:00 PM
I agree that the black donnelleys was definetly pulled too soon. I personally made it a point to watch it every week and now they replace it with the same old stuff. they might as well have put my nieces talent show on. its just as interesting as the rest of their line up. And i for one will not be watching that network for quite some time. i will in fact use my parental control button and block nbc all together. the problem is that they try to pack too much into late night programming,and then people become uninterested.


May 13, 2007, 9:52:00 PM
NBC screw us again. Removing Black Donnely's show they have hacks running the show. They pull a good show becuase in the first two weeks it has low rating. They still haven't learned from their mistakes. Seinfeld, Friends, Cheers all has crappy rating even after a couple years. These days, they give a show 3 weeks and cancel. ABC did the same things with a show called the NINE. Nothing like trashing a once fine network. Way to go clowns.


May 14, 2007, 11:54:00 PM
I just finished watching the season finale of the Black Donnellys. Wow! This is one of the best shows out there. I am still hoping that NBC comes to their senses and brings back this excellent show and great cast! I truly hope that if NBC is too wrapped up in their own lameness to bring back Donnellys, that another network looking to pickup the viewers lost to NBC will bring the Black Donnellys back. The show ended on such a high, I can't wait to see more!


May 15, 2007, 1:26:00 AM
N B C means Nothing But Crap!!!! Every time a good show comes on they hack it off and then they throw the remains on to the internet to let it die. Maybe we should do the same to them and just watch the internet until they die. The Black Donnellys was a great show and once again you screwed up. As for me your programs are Nothing But Crap from now on to me. Good bye NBC!!!!


May 15, 2007, 12:59:00 PM
I loved the Donnelys, I can't beleive it has been canceled. The first few episodes were a little hard to follow becuase of so many diff charcters and how the interacted with each other, but once you knew the characters it was an awesome show. I looked forward to watching it. guess that will end. I probablly won't even waste my time watching it online since it's over.


May 16, 2007, 9:13:00 PM
I agree with all the comments. Why cancel The Black Donnelly's? Finally, a show with an actual plot and actors, and not some dime a dozen reality waste of time.
WAY TO GO NBC--you've done it again! I've learned my lesson--I will not waste my time on your network, since you do not listen to your audience!
Oh, Wedding Crashers is a total waste of an hour---can't believe you replaced Donnellys with that GARBAGE!


May 16, 2007, 10:27:00 PM
I think canceling the Donnellys was a huge mistake. It's like the Irish Sopranos...rich culture, characters you care about, not kitchy, great scripts and wonderful acting. Of all the options I take time out of my insanely busy schedule to watch this ONE show. What a shame and somewhere down the line, you might realize this is a huge mistake. As another comment mentioned, if we viewers are lucky, another network with more vision will pick it up and NBC will once again be out! NBC is off my list for good. Last straw.


May 30, 2007, 2:39:00 PM
I wouldnt be surprised if FX picked it up. It was a damn near perfect show. Though I was growing tired of Olivia Wilde, everybody else was wonderful. Tom Guiry (Jimmy) was brilliant. Its a shame .


Jun 2, 2007, 9:14:00 PM
nbc is so full of shit... the black donnellys is easily one of the best shows on television... usually it takes more than ^ fucking episodes for a show to really get noticed... how can u not bring back a show that has a season finale like that?... every show on nbc sucks ass except heroes and the black donnellys... what kind of idiots are running this company?... i havnt been this disappointed in nbc since they stopped showing nba basketball... fuck nbc!!!


Jun 2, 2007, 9:16:00 PM
hbo should pick this show up and it could replace the sopranos... i love the black donnellys


Jun 20, 2007, 2:50:00 PM
"Black Donnelly's" was the best show this bloody network has! "Heroes" is great but I'm considering boycotting that program if these people don't reconsider the "Donnelly's". I agree with the person who said NBC sucks balls. They really, really do.


May 26, 2008, 12:56:00 PM
Its good to see a good show with solid characters a decent plot and room to move past first season. No computer generated effects needed.

But I guess people enjoy watching heroes or big brother or some mind numbing crap like that.

Ive been watching 2 shows, Dexter and Black Donnely's and both are really great. Sad to see it go.


Apr 27, 2009, 12:17:00 AM
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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.