Kevin Slane I Boston.com
A&E reality show “Wahlburgers” is first and foremost a family affair. Over the course of 10 seasons, viewers got to better know Mark Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg, Paul Wahlberg, and family matriarch Alma Wahlberg as they navigated the difficulties of expanding the family restaurant business nationwide.
That said, given the family’s celebrity status, the show naturally also featured a number of famous faces. Since premiering in 2014, the show has featured plenty of the types of A-listers you would expect to see associated with the Dorchester family, like Boston sports legends David Ortiz and Rob Gronkowski. But some of the show’s guests have also been pretty unexpected.
With “Wahlburgers” coming to an end with a 3-episode series finale on Wednesday night starting at 8 p.m. on A&E, here’s a look back at some of the notable names that have made appearances in episodes over the years.
Temi Adebowale I Men’s Health
The series finale of Wahlburgers is set to air on A&E tonight at 8 p.m., and its been fun watching Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg balance their careers with the expansion of their burger restaurant. And of course, fans loved seeing the bond between the three brothers, but a preview of the finale shows that they also love to make each other sweat—literally.
Mark has always been open about his workouts, and he often shares his fitness routine with his over 13 million followers on Instagram. As head chef of Wahlburgers, Paul is a little less fitness-savvy, so Mark decided to help Paul out in his quest to get fit.
While most people would start a fitness newbie off with a light workout, Mark and Paul decide to embark on a quick-hitting, full-body circuit workout.
The duo went through a total body circuit, working out their legs, arms, and core, and Paul actually ended up catching a painful leg cramp halfway through the first few exercises.
But even after that leg cramp, Paul was ready to give the workout his all. "I'm doing the best I can to keep up with Mark. How long it's going to last? I don't know, but I'm going to give it my best shot—and then he'll leave me alone."
Mark and Paul ended the workout with a bit of a wrestling match. While Mark ended up pulling Paul to the ground, the chef held his own during the mini-tussle.
But while Paul thought the first five minutes of the workout was the end of his gym session, it turns out that he still had a ways to go before he could rest. The trainer informed him that they were actually "halfway through the first lap" leaving Paul to hilariously exclaim, "What do you mean halfway, I thought we were finished!"
That's the toughest part about circuit workouts: Once you finish the first round, you still have more to go before you're done.
Kevin Slane I Boston.com
After 10 seasons of pranks, business decisions, and plenty of burgers, “Wahlburgers” will come to an end this week.
Prior to the show’s finale, the three brothers at the center of the show — Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg — sat down with Entertainment Tonight Canada to discuss what the show has meant to the family, and how it brought all of them closer together.
Donnie went so far as to say that “Wahlburgers” had “rebuilt” the family, allowing them to connect in person after years of living their own lives apart from one another.
“Of the many, many things that have come out of this crazy journey for us as brothers, as business partners, the best part is that it’s rebuilt our family,” Donnie told ET, tearing up. “It really meant a lot to me. When the restaurant came about, we started to connect more regularly because of the business, but it didn’t require us to be in the same place. We could do conference calls and get our jobs done without being in the same room more than one or two times a year, but the show changed that.
“Not that there were any rifts or anything, but we were off doing our own things and the farther you are physically, the easier it is to lose track of the years,” Donnie continued. “Time drifts you apart and when you have wives and kids you tend to be around your mom and siblings less because you need to be with your own family. The show reconnected us by putting us in the same room together more often and that’s changed the culture of how we run the restaurant. We make the effort to be together more and it has reconnected us in the way that the business alone wouldn’t have.”
The three brothers also said that making “Wahlburgers” had been a positive experience for their mother, Alma Wahlberg.
“This show, the restaurants, and all of those things gave her new purpose and it was great that that helped her,” Mark Wahlberg said. “She loved doing the show. Well, she actually complained about it the whole time, but she was so upset when I told her it was ending!”
The three-episode series finale of “Wahlburgers” airs Wednesday, July 31 starting at 8 p.m. on A&E.
Ryan Berenz I TV Insider
After five years and 10 seasons, A&E serves up the final Wahlburgers episode on Wednesday, July 31, featuring the special Wahlburgers Award Show Clips Show with Donnie and Paul Wahlberg handing out awards to their all-time favorite moments, followed by the two-episode series finale.
While the TV series might be ending, the Wahlburgers story is just getting started. When the show premiered in 2014, brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul were scouting Boston properties to open a second Wahlburgers location. When the series wraps up, there will be Wahlburgers restaurants in nearly 20 U.S. states, Canada and the U.K.
Donnie, Mark and Paul were scattered across the country — as they often were on Wahlburgers — when we caught up with them to talk about the finale. Donnie was in Philadelphia wrapping up the sound check for that night’s Mixtape Tour concert. Mark was hitting golf balls in the backyard of his Los Angeles-area home, his words punctuated by the occasional, unmistakable thwack. Paul was taking care of business in his Hingham, Mass., office. But they each shared how bringing their family to TV brought them closer together:
Mark: “My mom and my brother Paul, especially, did not want to do [the show]. They thought it was going to be causing drama and conflict. And I said, ‘Guys, this is all about building the business.’ So it’s actually brought us all closer together, and they were the most disappointed when it was time to end the run.”
Donnie: “[My mom] really loved making the show. It’s really helped her show herself and her personality to the public, instead of just being the mother of these guys. She’s established herself to the public as her own person, and I know that’s a source of pride for her after hearing ‘Oh my God! You’re Donnie and Mark’s mom!’ for the last 30 years. Now it’s like, ‘Oh my God! You’re Alma! You’re your own person!’ I know that’s been really good for her.”
Paul: “I got to spend more time with Donnie and Mark than I normally would. It’s been really nice to see them at their jobs and to see how professional they are. There were a lot of great, fun moments. We got to meet a lot of extraordinary people. Especially with the celebrity aspect, people come up and they tell you a little bit more about themselves and whatever problems they may be dealing with. To think that you brought joy to them, that’s really kind of an amazing thing.”
Wahlburgers, Series Finale Event, Wednesday, July 31, 8/7c, A&E
Sarah Beauchamp I Screen Rant
Actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers, Donnie and Paul, will soon be saying goodbye to their A&E reality TV show Wahlburgers. The series has had a long, successful run, but sadly will be coming to an end after the 10th season airs this summer.
Premiering in February 2014, Wahlburgers follows the lives of the famous Wahlberg brothers (Donnie and Mark first found fame with their '80s group New Kids on the Block and their brother Paul is a successful chef), capturing both their personal lives and the ups and downs of running their casual-dining burger business, a chain of more than 30 restaurants all over the U.S. The first Wahlburgers restaurant opened in Hingham, Massachusetts, the boys' home state, back in 2014. Since, the brand has blown up - in addition to their long-running reality TV show. Now, more than five years and 80 episodes later, the Wahlbergs will say goodbye to their loyal viewers.
In an announcement earlier this year, the brothers revealed that the current season, Season 10, would be the show's last. Donnie called it an "amazing journey" and Mark said filming the series and opening up their restaurants was an "incredible experience," but it was time to end the show. Now, toward the end of the current season, the family is getting ready to say their goodbyes. A lot has happened already in Season 10, including Mark and Paul working on expanding their restaurant chain overseas. The siblings headed to Germany to open a restaurant on a U.S. military base there, which they'd like to do all over the world. Their mother, Alma, also had a big moment this season when she appeared on a national TV show to talk about her sons.
Sophie Dodd I People
It’s time for Mark Wahlberg to say say goodbye, baby.
After filming over 80 episodes of Wahlburgers, the 48-year-old actor is bidding farewell to the A&E series, which has followed him and his older brothers Donnie and Paul as they’ve expanded their burger chain of the same name (they now boast over 30 locations nationwide).
The series premiered in January 2014, and as the 10th and final season finale approaches, PEOPLE has an exclusive look at Mark’s goodbye video to the show’s fans, featuring hilarious and heartfelt exchanges between the brothers and a few highlights from past seasons.
The video (above) starts off at the 2011 grand opening of the first Wahlbugers restaurant in Hingham, Massachusetts. “There’s a great turn out, a lot of people came out to support us, and I think we’re off to a great start,” Mark says in the clip.
It then leads into a title slide that reads, “It’s been a heck of a run, baby,” playing on Mark’s trademark catchphrase. “It’s happening, baby,” he says while sipping wine on a private plane. “Charlie Sheen, baby,” he jokes to his brothers as they stand beside a go-kart raceway.
There’s some tension along the way as Paul, who is the chef behind the casual restaurant chain, grows frustrated over Mark calling him at work with seemingly extraneous requests.
But there are also plenty of touching moments between the three brothers— who come from a nine-sibling family — and their mother Alma.
“I am extremely grateful, because all of our lives could’ve been a lot different,” Mark shares over Thanksgiving dinner with his family, tearfully adding, “I’m just extremely grateful for everything and everybody, I love you.”
Ultimately, Wahlburgers and the eponymous series has been a great bonding experience for the siblings, Donnie told A&E. “It’s been an amazing journey that has brought us closer together as a family and launched our little business to heights we never could’ve imagined.”
Mark seems to be on the same page, adding, “This business has allowed us to get back to being brothers, to reconnecting.”
The Wahlburgers series finale airs on Wednesday, July 31 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.
Chris Triunfo I Boston Globe
After five years and more than 80 episodes, the Wahlbergs are saying farewell to their reality series “Wahlburgers.”
A&E Network will air the final episode of the show on Aug. 17, and recently aired a look back at some of the show’s best moments, available for streaming on A&E’s website. In a teaser for the sixth episode, titled “Wahl’king Down Memory Lane,” fans are given the chance to relive some highlights, such as the time the family introduced David “Big Papi” Ortiz to the Papi Burger, named after the former Red Sox slugger.
The program, which has been on the air for more than five years, follows the Wahlberg family’s business endeavors in the fast food industry. Wahlburgers was founded by chef Paul Wahlberg and his brothers Donnie and Mark .
Wahlburgers started as a single burger joint in Hingham in 2011. Since then, the business has boomed. The restaurant now boasts more than 30 locations nationwide. Most recently, the family held a grand opening in Flint, Mich.
“Every burger that goes out reminds me of who we are and where we came from,” says Paul Wahlberg during the episode. “It’s all about family in the end.”
According to A&E, the series culminates with the brothers working to open their namesake restaurant in Dorchester, where they grew up. (The location, in South Bay Shopping Center, opened in December 2018.) Opening a restaurant in Dorchester was a dream that their mother, Alma Wahlberg, has had since the start of the show.
“Creating the Wahlburgers restaurants has been an incredible experience and we are so grateful to have shared it with . . . viewers these last nine seasons,” said Mark Wahlberg in the sixth episode. “But we still have so much more to do.”
Bryanna Cappadona I TODAY
Back in 1988, Alma Wahlberg knew what was coming, even if the rest of the world didn’t. She saw it in plain sight, happening right in her Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. New Kids on the Block, the local group of music-making heartthrobs that included her son Donnie, was going to be incredibly famous.
Alma Wahlberg, who’s been stealing fans’ hearts since the 2014 debut of “Wahlburgers,” the reality show centered on the Wahlberg family burger chain, has an idea as to why. Before the whole global domination thing, when the guys were just buzz on Massachusetts radio stations, she saw in them an energy that was hard to pinpoint.
Tracy Swartz I Chicago Tribune
On last week’s episode of “Wahlburgers,” Donnie and Paul Wahlberg visited a few St. Charles spots: Hotel Baker, where Donnie wed Jenny McCarthy in 2014; a Meijer store that sells Wahlburgers beef products; and a local home so they could schmooze fans who won a Wahlburgers dinner in a charity auction.
The 10th and final season of “Wahlburgers,” an A&E network series that follows the Wahlberg brothers as they promote their various ventures, premiered May 15. St. Charles will be featured again on Wednesday’s episode, set to air at 8 p.m., with footage of the March groundbreaking of a Wahlburgers restaurant at Route 38 and Randall Road.
“Wahlburgers” premiered in 2014. The spinoff “Donnie Loves Jenny” — which trailed Wahlberg and McCarthy, a Chicago-area native, as they moved to St. Charles — aired from 2015-16. St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina said those TV shows brought national attention to his west suburban city and helped St. Charles grow.
“Wahlburgers” once drew 3 to 4 million viewers per episode, but ratings have declined in recent years. About 388,000 viewers tuned in for last week’s episode, according to ShowBuzzDaily. Rogina pointed out that Wahlberg and McCarthy have plenty of other media platforms.
Zach Johnson I E News
Nominations for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Thursday, July 16.
At 8:30 a.m. PT, Primetime Emmy Award winner and Orange Is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba, 34, joined four-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee and So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley, 38, to announce this year's nominees during a live broadcast from SilverScreen Theater at L.A.'s Pacific Design Center.
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
Alaska: The Last Frontier, Discovery
Deadliest Catch, Discovery
Million Dollar Listing New York, Bravo
Naked & Afraid, Discovery Channel
Allison Corneau I US Magazine
Put him in, coach! On the season 2 premiere of Wahlburgers, Donnie Wahlberg and his New Kids on the Block bandmate Danny Woodmust decide who should fill the last spot in their fantasy football league. Should it be Donnie's brother, Paul, whose participation could rig the competition in their favor?
Watch the first four minutes of the season premiere episode, "Here's the Drill"—featuring appearances from Mark WahlbergOpens a New Window. and family matriarch Alma—before the show airs in full Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. (EST) on A&E.
Tony Maglio I The Wrap
The nominees for the 66th annual Emmy Awards are in, with HBO’s 99 nods leading the way.
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
“Alaska: The Last Frontier”
“Million Dollar Listing New York”
“Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan“
Donnie Wahlberg, exec producer, “Wahlburgers”
Did Donnie Wahlberg ever think he’d get an Emmy nomination for a reality show? “What I think is more astounding is my mom is the star of an Emmy-nominated reality show. It’s outrageous. Between the two of us, Mark and I thought we’d sort of covered every award in the entertainment business … it’s hysterical that this is a crowning achievement for us. I think we can both retire now. I don’t know how we can top this.”
How did mom react? ”
She said no way and then she started joking that I’m going to have to take her on a shopping spree at Home Goods and she said I’m going to be your and Mark’s date to the Emmys. I said you’re the star of a reality TV show. You can bring your own date.”
Kate Stanhope I TV Guide
A&E's Wahlburgers has already made a star out of Mark and Donnie Wahlberg's' older brother: Wahlburgers' head chef Paul. Now it's time for viewers to meet another member of the clan: their brother Jim Wahlberg.
The middle child of the famous Boston family, Jim steals the spotlight on the Wahlburgers' upcoming summer special (Sunday, 10/9c) as he gears up to run the Boston Marathon. "The marathon this year is about overcoming tremendous adversity and, to me, Jim is the greatest symbol of that," Donnie tells the camera in this exclusive video. "He's bringing a lot of honor to the Wahlberg name by running that marathon."
Rick Kissell I Variety
“Duck Dynasty” may also have benefited from synergy with docu-series “Wahlburgers,” which held onto more of the vet’s lead-in than last week.
“Wahlburgers,” which follows Chef Paul Wahlberg and brothers Mark and Donnie as they run their family’s burger joint in Boston, averaged a 1.68 rating in adults 18-49 this week, up 8% from its premiere (1.55). It also surged 23% in total viewers, rising from 3.26 million to 4.02 million.
At 10:30 p.m., it tied for second place in adults 18-49 with NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” and behind only FX’s season finale of “American Horror Story: Coven.”
Drew Grant I Observer
When we first heard that Wahlburgers was a real show, our first thought was probably like a lot of yours: “Mark Wahlberg is opening up a restaurant?” Then our second thought, also like a lot of yours, was “Wait, DONNIE Wahlberg is opening up a restaurant??”
Turns out we were wrong both times, guys. It’s Paul Wahlberg who is opening up a restaurant, or already has a restaurant, or something. They serve hamburgers(obviously), though a promo for the new episode has Jenny McCarthy eating a hot dog/sausage INSIDE a hamburger: truly, a Wahlburger/Wahlberger creation. Double-obviously, this show takes place in Boston, and triple-obviously, Mark Wahlberg is an executive producer.
Tim Kenneally I The Wrap
The Wahlberg family’s new reality show, “Wahlburgers,” served up some tasty ratings with its premiere Wednesday night, drawing 3.3 million total viewers.
In the 18-49 demographic most important to networks, the premiere of “Wahlburgers” on A&E — which chronicles the efforts of Paul Wahlburg to expand his restaurant business — grabbed 2 million viewers.
Among the 25-54 crowd, the series premiere — which had the benefit of the hugely successful “Duck Dynasty” as a lead-in” — grabbed 1.8 million viewers.
44 Blue Production’s president Rasha Drachkovitch talks realscreen through the pitch for Wahlburgers, a forthcoming A&E reality series following the infamous Wahlberg brothers Mark and Donnie, their brother Paul, and their mother, as they open up a burger restaurant chain.
The idea for Wahlburgers came to Rasha Drachkovitch, 44 Blue Production’s president, when he read an article announcing that the three Wahlburg brothers – Mark, Donnie and Paul – were opening a burger restaurant. Interested in a series in that space, the producer reached out to his agent, WME, which he shares with Mark Wahlberg.
Kimberely Nordyke I Hollywood Reporter
Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are getting a taste of reality.
The brothers have signed on to appear in an unscripted series for A&E Network that will center around their family-owned Hingham, Mass.-based restaurant, Wahlburgers. (A second location is set to open in Toronto early next year.)
The series, titled Wahlburgers, will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the family as well as their restaurant. The show finds Mark and Donnie heading back to their Boston hometown to join forces with their professed "most talented sibling," Paul, who serves as executive chief.
Wahlburgers is produced for A&E Networks by 44 Blue Productions in association with Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Entertainment and Donnie D Productions. Mark Wahlberg, StephenLevinson and Donnie Wahlberg serve as executive producers along with 44 Blue's Rasha Drachkovitch (pictured at right, flanked by Mark and Paul Wahlberg) and Jym Buss and A&E's Lily Neumeyerand Devon Graham.
Adam Benzine I Real Screen
U.S. cable net A&E has commissioned Wahlburgers, a reality series from 44 Blue Productions featuring actor-musicians Mark and Donnie Wahlberg.
The series, which is set to premiere on January 22 at 10.30 p.m. EST, sees the two brothers heading back to their home-town in Boston to join forces with lesser-known brother Paul, and help him run a hamburger restaurant.
Also featured in the series will be the brothers’ mother Alma, and a number of the actors’ childhood friends.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the entire Wahlberg family as they graciously lift the curtain to share this new side of their story,” said David McKillop, executive VP and general manager of A&E Network. “This series offers viewers a new take on the celebrity reality series showcasing one of America’s favorite families.”
The show is made by 44 Blue Productions in association with Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Entertainment, and Donnie D Productions.
Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Donnie Wahlberg serve as exec producers, while the EPs for 44 Blue are Rasha Drachkovitch and Jym Buss, and the EPs for A&E are Lily Neumeyer and Devon Graham.