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Jonathan Storm

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NEWS
January 9, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
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NEWS
May 18, 2010 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
NBC and Fox announced their fall schedules to advertisers Monday. The Peacock's making a huge shift back to expensive, mainstream TV after years of cost-cutting and the recent Jay Leno debacle. Fox has snagged Keri Russell for a comedy from the Arrested Development producers, but its biggest new show, a Steven Spielberg opus with writers from 24 , about a family that travels to prehistoric times to save the world for the future, won't come until at least spring 2011. Chuck made the cut at NBC, to the delight of its 867 rabid fans.
NEWS
October 7, 2010 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
One thing is clear about the new TV season: It's good to be CBS. In a fall when standard-issue police dramas and sitcoms lead the way, CBS, with 13 of the top 22 shows overall (three series are tied for No. 20), has found surprising success with new series and smart programming moves. The other networks are struggling. Fox and ABC already have canceled one show apiece. The Peacock's Sunday Night Football is holding ratings up, but the network has only one scripted show that's a bona fide success.
NEWS
January 17, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
Read Inquirer television critic Jonathan Storm's dispatches from the television critics' press tour in the newspaper and on his blog, "Eye of the Storm," at .
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
It was a marriage made not in heaven, but in Hollywood. Three women. No man. The baby, State of Georgia, arrives Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. on ABC Family. It's a broad sitcom with a modicum of fun, written by big-time chick-lit author, and Philadelphian, Jennifer Weiner. She has sold 11 million books in 36 countries, but she has never made a TV show. State of Georgia stars been-on-TV-since-she-was-a-baby Raven-Symone as Georgia and the well-traveled but still somewhat obscure Majandra Delfino, whom TV heads may best remember as the snarky Maria DeLuca, human girlfriend of an alien, on Roswell more than 10 years ago. Delfino has never done a traditional sitcom before, and she's surprisingly good.
NEWS
June 26, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
The girls are back in town, and the big premium-cable networks are happy to have them. True Blood , whose mind-reading Sookie Stackhouse finds herself forever in the midst of a crazy quilt of supernatural shenanigans, returns Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO. On Monday, Showtime spins an hour of comedy, some moments funnier than others, with single-mom-turned-felon Nancy Botwin in Weeds and cancer patient Cathy Jamison in The Big C ...
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NEWS
October 23, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
'How can anyone retire from the 'job' of watching and writing about TV?" you might ask, as you see that this is my farewell column as The Inquirer's TV critic. Not easily. I've been doing it for more than 22 years, and it has generally been a joy, but the pressure of change in television and in the newspaper business was getting intense. Maybe not for an air traffic controller or a crime-beat reporter, but for a person whose primary work garb is plaid pajamas, the pressure gauge is set a little lower.
NEWS
October 16, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
The Peacock is looking like a bedraggled starling at the start of its first fall TV season in Comcast's nest. Three weeks in, overall viewership, according to the Nielsen Co., is up at CBS and Fox, and down less than 1 percent at ABC, vs. year-ago numbers. But at NBC, it's down 6 percent. More ominous: Despite a new entertainment boss and a large bump in spending on program development, NBC has seen the average viewership of its five new series drop a stunning 28 percent from levels achieved by last year's five new series in the first three weeks of the season.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
It started with the item's appearance on Antiques Roadshow. The little tintype doesn't look like much: a white man and a black man in Confederate Army garb sitting next to each other, armed to the teeth. Viewers fell off their Queen Anne settees and Kmart couches alike when appraiser Wes Cowan said the picture was "breathtakingly rare," and set the insurance value in 2009 at $30,000 to $40,000. There are many shots from the era showing black men standing, removed from the white soldiers, usually in the background, Cowan explained.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 4, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
You've never seen anything like American Horror Story on TV before. And you may not want to see it now. But fans of the horror genre - not the splatter trash of the Saw or Chainsaw Massacre series, but the creepy, psychological, and, yes, sexy, gory stuff of classics like Rosemary's Baby or The Shining - won't be disappointed. FX, still No. 1 on basic cable for challenging, edgy material, has teamed up again with Nip/Tuck's Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck on Horror Story, which premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. The pair, also responsible for Fox's Glee, have a tendency to start strongly and then get a little lost, but that needn't concern us here, since we're at the beginning, and Horror Story is as gripping as anything on TV. You may find yourself looking for something to grip when the doll (or are they real?
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
Let's raise a toast to Ken Burns, and not just any old swill. How about a sidecar? Or an aviation? Or a clover club? Or any of dozens of elegant cocktails that were popular and widely consumed in the 1920s, when alcohol was illegal in the United States and the country, nevertheless, became the biggest importer of cocktail shakers in the world. Burns and his collaborator, Lynn Novick, have held the reins taut and produced a rarity for them - a historical documentary that sticks to the point and runs at a reasonable length.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
'Life is a big jerk," says the big jerk in How to Be a Gentleman. "It punches you in the face over and over again. You gotta fight back, or it will knock you out. " CBS's new Thursday night sitcom needs to start fighting fast. It has a fabulous supporting cast, but the two lead characters have big problems. One, Jason Hornsby, who hilariously played Rickety Cricket on FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is flat. The other, Kevin Dillon, who was less impressive as Johnny Drama on HBO's Entourage, is, well, a big jerk.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
Suburgatory 's version of suburbia might be somewhat unfamiliar. "It's like the Million Mom March," says 16-year-old Tessa Altman. "They're shuffling out of the tanning salons in their mani-pedi flip-flops, with their ever-present daughters and enormous frozen coffee drinks. " Realism is not the issue. Just as Desperate Housewives (before it got desperate) made up a place and stuck with it consistently and believably, so does the sublime Suburgatory. It transplants Tessa and her father to a funny fantasyland in a hilarious family fish-out-of-water tale that fits seamlessly Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. on 6ABC between The Middle and Modern Family.
NEWS
September 25, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
Bad omen for Fox's monster Mesozoic melodrama Terra Nova : It starts going downhill when the dinosaurs show up. A long time coming (it was supposed to bow in May), the show, which has a special two-hour premiere Monday at 8 p.m., is unquestionably a triumph of modern computing, populated with head-thwacking, cutting-edge electronic imagery. "It probably wasn't possible, totally, until we got a visual-effects team together that has literally created new technologies to make it possible," Brannon Braga, one of the show's 13 producers - another is Steven Spielberg - told TV critics at their summer meeting last month in Los Angeles.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
CBS recruiter Bryn Berglund had some internship advice for the 100-or-so eager Penn undergrads in the Wharton School auditorium: "You need to work hard, and you need to be nice. " Jobs may be Job 1 at Wharton, where the event took place Wednesday evening, but students had also come to see a new TV show and its star. She was living proof that the recruiter's advice was solid. "Be a fighter. Don't take no for an answer," Beth Behrs told the students. "You have to work it. " She didn't have to confirm the nice advice.
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