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December 22, 2014

'At the Movies' Canceled

by Andrew Scott, posted Mar 25th 2010 10:00AM

On Aug. 14, the 'At the Movies' balcony will officially be closed for good.

According to the Live Feed, Disney-ABC Domestic TV has canceled the long-running series after 24 years in syndication.

"This was a very difficult decision, especially considering the program's rich history and iconic status within the entertainment industry, but from a business perspective it became clear this weekly, half-hour, broadcast syndication series was no longer sustainable," the distributor said in a statement.

On Aug. 14, the 'At the Movies' balcony will officially be closed for good.

According to the Live Feed, Disney-ABC Domestic TV has canceled the long-running series after 24 years in syndication.

"This was a very difficult decision, especially considering the program's rich history and iconic status within the entertainment industry, but from a business perspective it became clear this weekly, half-hour, broadcast syndication series was no longer sustainable," the distributor said in a statement.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: A.O. Scott on 'At the Movies' Cancellation

The show originated in 1975 under the title 'Sneak Previews,' with hosts Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

Siskel and Ebert would, of course, go on to become household names thanks to a syndication deal with Buena Vista Entertainment in 1986 that would launch 'Siskel and Ebert and the Movies' (later shortened to 'Siskel and Ebert' in 1989). The duo would continue reviewing movies together throughout the '90s, until Siskel's death in 1999.


In Sept. 2000, Ebert named Siskel's official replacement: Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times, who stayed with the show until 2008. Ebert left the show two years prior, due to his ongoing battle with thyroid cancer, and never returned.

That same year, Disney decided to take the show in a new direction and hired E! correspondent Ben Lyons, son of critic Jeffrey Lyons, and Turner Classic Movies' Ben Mankiewicz as its new hosts. The hosts, Lyons in particular, were criticized by viewers and fellow-critics alike -- including Ebert himself, who penned his now-infamous "little rule book" in 2008, attacking Lyons' hyperbolic review of 'I Am Legend,' among other things.

The two Bens were fired the following year, and were replaced by esteemed critics and current hosts, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and A.O. Scott of the New York Times.

Yesterday, Ebert tweeted his reaction to the news, saying, "RIP, 'At the Movies.' Memories." To read more of Ebert's thoughts on the cancellation, click here.

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