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October 20, 2014

At the Movies critics now at the unemployment line

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 6th 2009 11:02AM
ABC's At the Movies fired its young hosts and is moving forward with more experienced critics.At the Movies, the long-running cinema review show that once starred well-respected critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, is going back to the idea of employing experienced reviewers as hosts.

Disney and ABC film-canned Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz this week. The show's now-dismissed young, hipster critics never really showed any particular cinema savvy besides the ability to unfurl sarcastic reviews. And their writing credentials won't be mistaken for the bylines Ebert and Siskel piled up in their careers.

To reverse course in hope of saving At the Movies, executives are turning to two guys with established chops.

A.O. Scott will take one At the Movies chair. The film critic for The New York Times, Scott is a frequent contributor to The Charlie Rose Show and other pop culture programs.

Scott's partner will be Michael Phillips, film critic for the Chicago Tribune and former writer for The Los Angeles Times, The St. Paul Pioneer Press, The San Diego Union-Tribune and The Dallas Times Herald.

At the Movies returns to first-run syndication this September.

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Jenny K.

Ebert may be too much of a gentleman to say so outright, but he isn't above slightly-veiled criticism, especially concerning Mr. Lyons:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/10/eberts_little_rule_book.html

Glad to see the show in the hands of professionals again, as much as I miss the original team.

August 06 2009 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

I'll bet Roger Ebert is very pleased that the show he pioneered will be back in the hands of actual film critics!! But he's too much of a gentleman to say so, I'm sure.

August 06 2009 at 6:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

"Disney and ABC film-canned Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz this week."

Hallelujah!! Come September I will return to watching this show.

August 06 2009 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Europa's comment
Will

I agree 100%, Europa. I was very happy to hear this news. I just wish another station would pick it up because here in NYC, it's always being preempted on Saturday evenings by baseball, which, of course, never ends on time. Now that it will be worth watching again, I hope they change its timeslot.

August 11 2009 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

These shows aren't even needed anymore, why have them ? It's taking up schedule space for a rare 1/2hr reality show after all.

August 06 2009 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GerryofNorVA's comment
Andrew

This show runs at 12:30AM where I live.

August 07 2009 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pingles

I could never tolerate Lyons after his urban-hipster dialog on the E! News shows and although he cut back on the Movie show it still grated on my nerves.

I kind of liked Mankiewicz.

August 06 2009 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Russ

I liked A.O. Scott when he filled in for Ebert alongside of Roper. He's a good choice. I didn't really have a problem with the other 2 hosts though. I'll still watch it when it's on no matter who the hosts are because it's never really been about the hosts for me. As long as they sound like they know what they're doing it's all I need.

August 06 2009 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cherries

Well, I'm happy with this news, because I didn't like either of the two "hipsters", although Lyons wasn't terrible -- just kind of green and inept. Mankiewicz, on the other hand, got on my very LAST nerve. I won't be sorry to see him go.

August 06 2009 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe stalin

Cool! So we can get the view of the movies from the hard left and the ultra left! What exactly changed?

August 06 2009 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe stalin's comment
john

Calm down, Willy. Not everything is political. It's just a movie review show.

August 06 2009 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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