Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Black Donnellys

Yes, this is a Jericho blog so why is this about TBD's today? First, because I know how important bloggers were to the Nuts campaign so this is a small return the favor type thing. Second, these fans of TBD's are really nice, polite, kind folks and I believe they deserve a helping hand in spreading the word. Third, they may not have our Jericho Rangers numbers but they definitely have the passion. Therefore, I have invited Paige, Ruth, and Carmen to explain the details of their campaign. They are VIP Guest Bloggers and I thank them for their efforts.

If you haven’t heard of The Black Donnellys (“TBD”), there are several reasons why which I will explain in the following paragraphs. But first, a look into what The Black Donnellys is all about and why you should tune in……

The show was written by Oscar award winning writers Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (Crash). The show was largely based on Bobby Moresco’s life growing up in Hell’s Kitchen. The Black Donnellys is narrated by Joey “Ice Cream” and follows four Irish brothers, Tommy, Kevin, Jimmy and Sean Donnelly who place family above all and find themselves catapulted into a life they never dreamed of. In the pilot episode, Tommy and Kevin do the unthinkable to save their brother Jimmy from himself and to keep him and the family out of harms way… and this is where it all begins. Throughout the season, we see the emotions erupt, motives unravel and suspicions revisited. The Black Donnellys offers drama, comedic relief, action, suspense, and most of all, a glimpse at what it means to be a family.

So now I will get to the reason The Black Donnellys was pulled from the air after the 5th episode and the continuing struggle for the fans to bring the Donnelly boys back for a second season.

NBC first aired The Black Donnellys on February 26, 2007 on Monday night at 10:00 p.m. EST and pulled in 6 million viewers. This was an amazing number of viewers considering NBC failed to market The Black Donnellys. The first and second episodes followed Heroes and was up against CSI Miami, an already well established and popular show. The third and fourth episodes aired after a primetime game show (Heroes was on hiatus), which is not a favorable lead-in for The Black Donnellys because of the demographics of that particular audience. Finally, the April 2nd show (5th episode) was aired in competition with the NCAA tournament. As NBC's first pick for the 2006-2007 fall season, NBC missed a great marketing opportunity and failed TBD from the start. The Black Donnellys was originally intended to air in the Thursday night timeslot, while ER was on hiatus in January. Instead TBD was pushed back to air in February on Monday nights, a night known as the most dreaded timeslot.

NBC took The Black Donnellys off the air after 5 episodes and placed the show on NBC.com and Itunes for our small screen viewing pleasure and then the fun started. The fans sent emails and letters and made phone calls pleading with NBC to let them know the future of The Black Donnellys. We wanted our show back on primetime! The fans received no response from NBC. Instead, NBC “forgot” to upload the episodes on the internet and began deleting threads pertaining to efforts to “save The Black Donnellys” without any warning. What is so upsetting about this is that many, many fans spent a lot of time placing information on the boards (i.e., media contact information, daily tasks, sample letters, etc), which were all erased without a moment’s thought after all of the work the fans had done. Now we not only have to recreate the wheel but we can’t even place a topic on the NBC boards directing fans to our campaign website without the thread being instantly deleted and our accounts getting suspended.

So, are the “firecrackers” backing down? Well, of course not! We've renewed our efforts to save The Black Donnellys. We are focusing our efforts on HBO (and if need be, other networks later on) since NBC appears to be doing everything it can to squash the Save The Black Donnellys campaign. Therefore, we've created our own website containing information about the Save The Black Donnellys campaign. You can find all of the information you need about the ongoing campaign efforts at http://savetheblackdonnellys.net/ . Our current campaign initiatives are focused on spreading the word about the campaign and sending shamrocks, quarters and crackers (for the "firecrackers") to HBO. To make things really easy, we've even included a "Donate" button on the campaign website so that you can contribute to the bulk shipment of crackers that we plan to send to HBO soon. In addition, each day we post a new "Daily Action Item" on the campaign site. These items are targeted at creating the most buzz about The Black Donnellys and letting HBO know how much we want a second season. Best of all, the daily action items take only 5-15 minutes to do so everyone can participate. We'll continue to discuss the campaign, new ideas, and our progress in the "Firecrackers" section at The Firecracker Lounge http://thefirecrackerlounge.com/firecracker/index.php#1. We need everyone to help with whatever they can. Please join us in the fight to bring back the Donnelly brothers for season 2. Thank you.

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