The episode called "God Is A Comedian" was originally slated to be the 3rd episode to air, but NBC decided to make it an on line-only episode because the content was too violent and graphic for network television. It is currently viewable, only in the USA, on the official Black Donnellys website as well as through i Tunes.
The series' name is taken from the nickname of the notorious Canadian Donnelly family who participated in a violent 19th Century community feud around Lucan, Ontario that ended with a home invasion massacre. Series creator, Paul Haggis, grew up in the nearby city of London, Ontario where the stories of the feud are well known, and he promised to use elements of them in the series.
The exterior shots for the Firecracker Lounge were filmed at the Shannon Pot, a bar at the corner of Jackson Ave. and Davis St. in Long Island City, Queens. The exterior shots for the Minetta Tavern were filmed at the real-life Minetta Tavern at 113 MacDougal St. in New Yorks Village area, also known as SoHo although it is North of Houston.
This series was originally expected to debut during fall 2006 but was later bumped up to January 2007 to replace ER (1994) during its hiatus. During fall 2006, ER (1994) had such great ratings that NBC decided to scrap the hiatus, and The Black Donnellys (2007) was pushed back to March 2007. However, another NBC newcomer, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006), turned out to be bit of a disappointment, and The Black Donnellys (2007) was bumped up to fill its time slot in February 2007.
Due to licensing restrictions and changing air dates, there are at least two versions of the pilot. The pre-air version featured some tracks that were removed before the official air date on February 26th, 2007.