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The Z List - This Week's Biggest Losers 05/19/07

5/19/2007 3:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Paul HaggisGeorge Lopez lost a bunch of money this week because of Geico, whose cavemen characters helped nudge him off the ABC-TV grid. At least Lopez made it to the promised land of syndication; others in the annual network TV upfront derby weren't so lucky.

Paul Haggis: On the film side, Haggis, who shares his hometown of London, Ontario with hottie couple Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams -- is used to making history. He's the only screenwriter responsible for back-to-back Best Pictures ("Million Dollar Baby" and "Crash"). But on the small screen, his much ballyhooed NBC drama "The Black Donnelly's" is simply ... history. Maybe Haggis should have taken the hint when the network relegated an eighth episode, "God is a Comedian," to the realm of iTunes because it was deemed too violent. Squeezed in between "The Departed" and "The Sopranos," this story of four brothers in an Irish mob family wound up not having the luck of their brethren.

Donald LogueDonald Logue: It's never a good sign when a sitcom's working titles were way funnier than the one they eventually used. Who knows? If ABC's "Knights of Prosperity" had stuck with either "I Want to Rob Jeff Goldblum" or "Let's Rob Mick Jagger," it might not have been grounded for life. But Logue was a sport about it all, jumping onto the IMDB bulletin boards before the upfronts, giving fans the scoop and putting in his two cents about the context of his cancellation. "We opened against a bowl game (Notre Dame LSU) and did well," he wrote of his show's critically acclaimed first episode. "The next week we were pre-empted by George Bush assuring the U.S. public that 25,000 more troops were going to be asked to give up their lives by getting between Sunnis and Shias who have been fighting for 1300 years..."

Andy RichterAndy Richter: Conan's former sidekick just cannot catch a break in primetime. With NBC chopping "Andy Barker P.I.," he's got another one to add a trash heap, which includes "Quintuplets" and "Andy Richter Controls the Universe." What really stings in this case is that Conan co-created the show with Richter and threw all of his weight behind it at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. "I feel like this is the best primetime work I have ever done," said Richter at the time. But when Richter saw that NBC was willing to put all six episodes up on the Internet before they had aired, it must have felt about as good as reading the reviews for his Olsen twins flick "New York Minute."

Michael Rapaport Michael Rapaport: Always a fun guest on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," this guy's sitcom "The War at Home" was moved around willy-nilly for two years by Fox, eventually winding up in the death slot of 7:30 PM Sundays. And even though Rapaport has another TV pilot cooking over at CBS called "Fugly," he still sounded pissed when he sent out a pre-emptive MySpace bulletin last weekend, confirming the cancellation of his family comedy. It was definitely in-your-face entertainment ala "Married with Children," but one suspects that if Simon Cowell had been cast as the nosy neighbor, it would have survived.

Aaron Sorkin Aaron Sorkin: In the sketch show, coin-flip sweepstakes, Sorkin's low-rated "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" lost out on Monday to the scandal-plagued "30 Rock." Sorkin fans everywhere are still in mourning, bemoaning the fact that a new bionic woman has been favored by the Peacock over unabashedly adult entertainment. But after a hiatus revamp failed to win viewers with more romance, this very expensive failure will now get to play out the string on Thursdays. Still, Sorkin has what no others in TV land have: the ability to cry all the way to the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts-Mike Nichols bank (the stars and director of the upcoming Sorkin-scripted feature film, "Charlie Wilson's War").

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The biggest loser of the week was not Paul was NBC. Hopefully, Mr. Haggis will continue this superb drama on another network. There are tons of fans out there waiting to find out what happens to the Donnelly brothers.

2681 days ago


The Black Donnellys is an amazing show and deserved much better treatment than it received from NBC. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch the episodes. They are all available at or can be downloaded from itunes. Bashing Paul Haggis for mistakes made by others is not right.

2681 days ago


Paul Haggis did an outstanding job on The Black Donnellys. It was NBC that bombed out, not Paul or his show. TBD is the best new show on tv, bar none. If the show was given a fair chance I have no doubts that it would build a fan base, it honestly just needed some time and some promotion.


2681 days ago


The Black Donnellys was the most AMAZING show on TV!!!! It makes me really upset that NBC pulled it, I still religously watch the episodes online. I REALLY REALLY hope that someone picks it up for next season.

2681 days ago


OMG! You are sooo wrong! The Black Donnellys is the best show out there and NBC had to screw themselves out of it! But why should we be surprised....NBC has a habit of giving good shows the ax! If it weren't for a couple of shows (ER and hmmm...can't think of any other)...I wouldn't even turn on NBC.

2681 days ago


Paul Haggis is a very talented man and just because NBC was too dumb, deaf or blind to realize that doesn't mean he's a loser. The Black Donnellys was one of the best shows to ever be on network TV. What does that say about us as a society when we'd rather watch game shows and reality TV than an intelligent, well written drama. NBC puts all its stock in Heroes which is already starting to loose viewers. Then they try to throw some ignorant crap like "The Real Wedding Crashers" and "Thank God You're Here" at us and hope that we're dumbed down enough not to realize. No thank-you! NBC has lost a viewer in me.

2681 days ago


You could not be more incorrect on this one. NBC screwed up once again by cancelling such an amazing show. The Black Donnelly's deserved more of a chance than they were given. This show absolutely would have gained a fan base if it were given a real chance. NBC dropped the ball on this one.

2681 days ago


_The Black Donnellys_ was brilliantly written, directed, and acted -- a concept carried out with the utmost of excellence. Paul Haggis is the greatest screenwriter since the late, great Robert Bolt went into eternity.

(In this dramatist's humble opinion)

2680 days ago


Yes,Yes,Yes...NBC dropped more than the ball on this show...if they look at the ratings and actually read between the lines the show was watche even after they cancelled it. In this media based world we live in there is more than just televisions to watch a program and it should show on the ratings that nielsen puts out. NBC doesnt believe in the nielsen ratings which is there option but Nielsen does have other ways to get the rating besides the television...Netrating what is being viewd on the computer. NBC should step up to the plate and make the move to the future...Change how tv is viewed and keep it on the computer...The viewing may change how things work and how ratings are read...So YES...They did drop the ball...but maybe they or another NETWORK will pick it up and run with it...Lets hope so......

2680 days ago


The Black Donnellys was and still is an amazing show. NBC was narrow minded and short sighted in cancelling it. You can't blame Paul Haggis for NBC's mistake. I have faith that some other network will see the potential this show has and pick it up for a second season.

It's such a shame when good tv gets trampled by bad decisions.

2680 days ago
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