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July 25, 2014

Roger Ebert Announces 'At The Movies' Will Return in January

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 10th 2010 2:30PM
At The MoviesThis is crazy-good news. Roger Ebert announced at his site today that the film review show 'At the Movies' will return in January.

The official title of the show will be 'Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies' and will be produced by Ebert and his wife Chaz at WTTW, the same station where the show started back in 1975. The show will be seen on various stations nationwide.

Ebert is not going to be one of the hosts of the show, however. Who will be in front of the camera every week? A couple of film critics you might know (and a couple you might not...)

One of the two main critics will be Elvis Mitchell, who reviews films for National Public Radio and is a former critic for The New York Times. He filled in on 'At The Movies' when Gene Siskel passed away. Mitchell will be joined by Christy Lemire, film critic for The Associated Press.

Of course, this being a different time, a time of the web and online video and micro-blogging and all that, the format is going to be tweaked a bit. They're still going to be using the "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" system -- it's actually a registered trademark! -- but the two main hosts will be joined by other film critics and bloggers, including Kim Morgan of SunsetGun.com and Omar Moore of PopcornReel.com. There will also be a companion website where you'll be able to watch the show and get a bunch of content that won't be on the show.

Ebert dropped out of 'At the Movies' in 2006 to undergo thyroid cancer treatment. Various critics subbed in for him, until 2008, when Ben Lyons of E! Entertainment and Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies took over as the hosts. They were dropped just a year later due to low ratings, and then the show was canceled altogether this past March. After 24 years in national syndication, 'At the Movies' aired its last episode in August.

Perhaps the best part of revival of the show is that Ebert himself will appear in every single episode. He won't host, but he will contribute in a segment titled Roger's Office, where he will discuss various films of his choosing. Ebert will use the computer voice that was developed especially for him, which he demonstrated on Oprah's show earlier this year.

Here's why this is such good news: It's one thing to say that there are tons of film sites -- like our sister site, Moviefone -- and there are many outlets where you can find film criticism and discussion. But we also need a film review show on television. Not just the quickie film reviews you might see on one of the cable news stations or on your local newscast (a segment most local newscasts don't even have anymore), but a weekly, 30-minute show that is devoted to real discussion of new films and old films.

In the pilot for the show, they not only discuss new shows like 'Iron Man 2' (this is just a test show so that's why the movies are several months old), but Morgan also does a segment on the classic film noir 'The Third Man.' How cool is that? Personally, I'd watch an entire show devoted to just film noir, but you're probably not going to see that on television. The fact that it is included in the pilot (along with Moore's discussion of the web and how it is affecting indie film distribution) is very encouraging indeed.

Maybe we can finally erase the memory of that whole Ben Lyons thing once and for all.

Here's a video that gives a little history of the show and gives a little sampling of what we can expect from the new version. I'm looking forward to this, even if Mitchell does get in a dig at 'The Golden Girls' for some reason. Ebert takes film seriously, and with him at the helm you know it's going to be worth watching every single week.

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

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19 Comments

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Dean

If you listen to the cridics you will miss a lot of good movies.

September 12 2010 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian Workman

I've given up on TV Movie Cridic's. 99% of the time,
I go see a movie, find out they're opinion is all wrong anyway,and a waist of my time!

September 12 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mdparis8

They didn't like Iron Man 2! It was only one of the best action movies this year. I will not watch that show for sure; especially if the woman is on the show.(but she is mighty cute) But still A big thumbs down on her.

September 12 2010 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anthony Trocchia

Way to go, Roger. Having a disability is nothing to be ashamed about. I am physically disabled (I have Muscular Dystrophy) and I am thankful each day I'm alive!

September 12 2010 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jadzia113

It will be nice to see Roger back, but I too was expecting and hoping to also see Richard Roeper. I really miss Richard, I wasn't as crazy about M Phillips...that's okay. But he did do some shows with I think (I could be way off, I apologize if I am) A. Tyler. They were very good together!!! :)

September 12 2010 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mynameis

THINK, if you can. If you do not go to theatres and only watch online, either way, you are going to the movies.

September 12 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MovieMan

What ever happened to Richard Roeper? I wonder why he wasn't chose? He made mention of his working something out on the "Tonight" show a few months back.

September 12 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MovieMan

What wver happened to Richard Roeper? I wonder why he wasn't chosen?

September 12 2010 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David S.

Roger, let it go. No one watches movies critics on TV anymore. It is 2010, folks get their movie reviews on-line.

September 12 2010 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David S.'s comment
Todd LeBaron

David, get over yourself...this is a man with a long career as a film critic, and one whose word I would take seriously about a film far sooner than someone like you commenting on his career. You get your own show, then we'll talk.

September 12 2010 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
STEPHANIE

I am thrilled to hear this. He is showing that anyone no matter what, can still contribute their talents.

September 12 2010 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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