NBC INKS DEAL FOR PAUL HAGGIS ("MILLION DOLLAR BABY," "CRASH") TO CREATE, DIRECT AND EXECUTIVE-PRODUCE GRITTY NEW CRIME DRAMA SERIES, "THE BLACK DONNELLYS"
BURBANK, Calif. -- July 24, 2005 -- NBC has signed Emmy Award-winning writer-director Paul Haggis (Oscar winner "Million Dollar Baby," "Crash") to write, direct and serve as executive producer of "The Black Donnellys," a new mid-season drama series concerning the exploits of four young Irish brothers and their involvement in organized crime in New York's notorious Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.
The announcement was made by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.
"As his credits suggest, Paul Haggis represents the cutting edge of creative, forceful dramas that make an impact with critics and audiences alike," said Reilly. "We can't wait to start work on this entertaining, insightful and brooding story that will feature Paul's remarkable vision."
Haggis will be creator and executive producer (along with fellow executive producer Bobby Moresco) of the gritty drama that chronicles the contemporary story of the Donnellys, four young and handsome Irish brothers who fight for love yet cannot escape sinking deeper into the criminal underworld.
After optioning two short stories concerning boxing, Haggis' wrote a spec screenplay for the film hit "Million Dollar Baby," which was quickly bought by Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood. The feature went on to capture the Oscar earlier this year as Best Picture and earned other major Academy Awards. Haggis' most recent film, "Crash," starring Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon, became a critical favorite as well as an underground box-office success after its release last spring. His latest screenplay to go into production is "The Last Kiss," starring Zach Braff (NBC's "Scrubs") and Rachel McAdams.
Earlier, Haggis won two Emmys -- one as a producer on "thirtysomething" when the drama was named Outstanding Drama Series, and a second for Outstanding Writing on a Drama Series for the same program. He also received a Humanitas Prize and numerous other awards for his prolific television work.
The series is a production of NBC Universal Television Studio in association with Blackfriars Bridge Productions.