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.
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.
"Several months ago, Disney offered to extend my contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season," Roeper told the Associated Press.
In a letter to his fans, Roger wrote: "I am at last returning to the movie beat. After my current stay at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, I'm looking forward to opening night of my annual film festival at the University of Illinois on April 23, and I will resume writing movie reviews shortly thereafter. Are you as bored with my health as I am? I underwent a third surgery in January, this one in Houston, and once again there were complications. I am sorry to say that my ability to speak was not restored. That would require another surgery."
Film critic Roger Ebert was reported hospitalized in serious condition Sunday after emergency surgery was performed on him Saturday evening.
The operation was needed to correct damage that was caused by an earlier procedure that took place back on June 16th to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary gland. Repaired was a blood vessel that broke near the area where the June operation took place. Ebert has had a series of operations to remove cancers. Back in 2002 he underwent surgery for papillary thyroid cancer. One year later he went under the knife to remove an earlier growth on his salivary gland.
Richard Roeper, Ebert's current co-host on their nationally syndicated movie-review show, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Roger was stable after the emergency procedure and that he was expected to make a full recovery. Roeper replaced Ebert's former partner, Gene Siskel, back in 2000 after Siskel passed away a year earlier.
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