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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 12:35 PM
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Dennis Farina and Dustin Hoffman in HBO's "Luck" Credit: Gusmano Cesaretti

HBO has renewed "Luck," its newest drama from "Deadwood" creator David Milch, for a second, 10-episode season.

The renewal of the racetrack drama, whose stars include Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, comes just two days after its official Sunday debut and follows a pattern HBO's established with other recent dramas -- renewal as promotional tool.

In other words, we told you lots and lots about "Luck" last week, and now we're reminding you that it's on next week, too -- and that the network's backing this horse to make it to the finish line.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 12:05 PM

 “Downton Abbey,” the “Masterpiece Classic” soap that’s made watching PBS watching cool for the Elmo generation, will air its Season 2 finale in the U.S. on Feb. 19, and WHYY thinks you might not want to be alone when you find out if those two crazy kids — we’re talking, of course, about Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) — ever find a way to work things out.


The station’s holding a themed reception at 8 p.m., followed by a screening of the two-hour season finale at  9 in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons. Cost is $20 for members, $25 for non-members and WHYY, which has long skewed Anglophile, is promising “refreshments suitable for British lords and ladies.”


Yes, really.

POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012, 12:32 PM

It looks as if the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s 15 minutes are finally up.


When A&E’s “Parking Wars” returns for its fifth season Feb. 11, the spotlight’s glare will be on the ticket-writers — and angry parkers — of Detroit and Providence, R.I.


Detroit’s been part of the show since Season 3, but Providence — described in an A&E press release as “a town originally built for horse and buggy traffic” — is new to “Wars.”

POSTED: Friday, January 27, 2012, 1:44 PM

Fox’s world might not be turned upside down, but it’s definitely tilting.


On Thursday night, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” not only attracted more viewers — some 16 million to 15.5 million — than the first half-hour of “American Idol,” but it beat the once-invincible talent show among the 18- to 49-year-olds advertisers care about most.
It even won in the 18-34 demo that’s not supposed to know CBS exists.


CBS’ victory wasn’t complete, thanks to “Rob,” the Rob Schneider sitcom that pulled the network’s ratings down considerably in the second half-hour. “Big Bang” took several seasons to develop into a giant-slayer, but I’m not sure any of us will live long enough to see “Rob” get there.

POSTED: Friday, January 27, 2012, 12:12 PM
Filed Under: TV Reviews
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Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski star in NBC's "Chuck"

One hero says goodbye and another returns in a different guise tonight, as NBC’s “Chuck” (8 p.m., NBC10) wraps up its fifth and final season and Starz’ “Spartacus: Vengeance” introduces Liam McIntyre, the actor who replaced the late Andy Whitfield as the rebel slave leader.


I’ll admit to having been a little blubbery toward the end of “Chuck’s” sendoff, which consists of back-to-back episodes, “Chuck Versus Sarah” and “Chuck Versus the Goodbye,” but I was happy, too.


Because this is the way TV should work.

POSTED: Monday, January 16, 2012, 10:03 AM
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Russell Brand at press conference in Pasadena, Calif., on Sunday Credit: Phil McCarten/FX

 Russell Brand isn't the easiest guy in the world to pin down.

And not just if someone's trying to get him to comment on, say, his personal life.

The name of Katy Perry were never uttered during an FX press conference Sunday in Pasadena at which the British comedian, who's reportedly getting a divorce from the singer, riffed about the late-night show he's doing for the cable network beginning in April, a project whose working title, "Strangely Uplifting," appears to be an apt description of the man himself.

POSTED: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 12:32 PM

They may be separated but Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are united in business -- and apparently against the press.

The pair, along with choreographer Jamie King, are producing a Latin America talent-search show for Univision called "Q'Viva! The Chosen," which premieres Jan. 28, and were the bait used to lure sleep-deprived reporters to a 7:30 a.m. Univision-sponsored breakfast Saturday on the next-to-the-last day of the Television Critics Association's winter meetings.

It's a day whose activities -- mostly press conferences and grab-a-star interviews -- are scheduled to run till 10 p.m. So maybe the critics were a little cranky.

POSTED: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 12:32 PM

They may be separated but Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are united in business -- and apparently against the press.

The pair, along with choreographer Jamie King, are producing a Latin America talent-search show for Univision called "Q'Viva! The Chosen," which premieres Jan. 28, and were the bait used to lure sleep-deprived reporters to a 7:30 a.m. Univision-sponsored breakfast Saturday on the next-to-the-last day of the Television Critics Association's winter meetings.

It's a day whose activities -- mostly press conferences and grab-a-star interviews -- are scheduled to run till 10 p.m. So maybe the critics were a little cranky.

About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at graye@phillynews.com.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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