Not even a year after the cancellation of the long-running movie review program “At the Movies” was axed by distributor Disney-ABC, Roger Ebert is bringing the show back to life on public television as “Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies.”
“At the Movies” was originally hosted by Ebert and Gene Siskel, and later by Ebert and Richard Roeper. Ebert left the show after losing his lower jaw to cancer, and consequently losing the ability to speak. The most recent version featured A.O. Scott of the New York Times and Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune. “At the Movies” has always been Ebert’s passion project, so it seems fitting that he’s the one to revive it.
The new incarnation will be produced by Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with Christy Lemire of the Associated Press and Elvis Mitchell of NPR and formerly of the New York Times hosting. Bloggers Kim Morgan and Omar Moore will also be featured contributors, and Ebert will host a segment called “Roger’s Office,” in which he will speak through a computer to offer his own film criticism and commentary.
The half-hour show will be syndicated starting in January 2011, and it will retain Ebert and Siskel’s “thumbs up, thumbs down” review format.
Personally, I’m thrilled by this news. I think there is a place for film criticism on television, and Ebert is the perfect person to have at the helm. I love Elvis Mitchell’s “The Treatment,” and while I’m not familiar with Lemire’s work, she’s been reviewing for the AP for more than 10 years. She’s obviously experienced, and I’m happy to see a female critic as one of the hosts.
Ebert is such a gifted critic and a true inspiration. He still has such a powerful, enthusiastic spirit despite everything he’s been through, so I’m especially glad to see him get back in front of the camera in addition to his role behind it.
What do you think? Are you excited to see “At the Movies” back on the air? Are Lemire and Mitchell the right people to host it? Sound off in the comments section.
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