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August 29, 2015


'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.

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Roger Ebert Debuts New Computer Voice on 'Oprah' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 3rd 2010 12:05AM
Oprah Winfrey, Roger Ebert's New VoiceRoger Ebert's voice could never really be silenced because he's such a force of nature in the film industry. But it's heartening to know that the film critic's actual voice can now be heard, thanks to a new computer program he debuted on 'Oprah Winfrey' (weekdays, syndicated).

And we bet his wife is a force of nature, too. It's not easy being a caregiver, but you can tell she's stood by him through thick and thin. Good for these two, shining examples of what a good attitude and a good partnership should be.

Watch the video after the jump.

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Roger Ebert to Appear on 'Oprah' March 2

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 26th 2010 5:31PM
Roger Ebert and Oprah Winfrey in the 1980sIt's interesting how quickly the wonderful Esquire profile of Roger Ebert, written by Chris Jones, rocketed around the interwebs last week. It speaks to the power of two things: a) Ebert's endearing popularity, almost four years after he stopped being an on-camera movie critic, and b) that a well-written magazine profile can give a reader more insight into a person than sometimes talking to the person himself can even do.

But the article, and the stark pictures of Ebert that accompanied it, has led Ebert in some interesting directions. For instance, he'll be going on Oprah Winfrey's show on March 2 to do his first interview since various cancer surgeries robbed him of his voice, most of his jaw, and his ability to eat and drink. Ebert will speak through the use of a computer.

The two Chicago titans have a long history together; five years ago, Ebert revealed that the two of them even went out on a couple of dates in the 1980s, where Ebert gave Oprah the idea to syndicate her talk show rather than take it to the network level.

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Roger Ebert Angry Over Siskel Tribute Video's Removal

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 16th 2010 5:02PM
Roger Ebert at the Toronto Film Festival 2009Anyone who thinks that we in the blogging, Twittering, Facebooking universe have hastened the death of the long-form magazine story as we know it needs to take a look at this Esquire profile of Roger Ebert, written by Chris Jones.

As fans of 'At The Movies' know, Ebert's been off the air for almost four years, since complications from cancer surgery on his jaw left him unable to eat, drink, or speak. The pictures of Ebert that accompany the story are stark; no matter how many times I see it, the image of the withered lower half of his face is tough to see.

The article, though, is inspiring; it shows an Ebert who has been able to come to terms with how he's currently living his life and how he navigates through it, mostly through the excellent writing on his Chicago Sun-Times blog. But the most emotionally-charged moment in the whole story was his visible anger at seeing that the video of his 1999 Gene Siskel tribute show has been pulled off his 2009 blog entry about his partner and friend's death.

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Conan O'Brien Immortalized in Cheetos

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 2nd 2010 7:00PM
There are very few true signs of utter respect in your profession. Don't believe me? I'll venture a bet that no one has ever made a Cheeto profile of your boss' big fat head.

An artist with the Eclectic Asylum Art Gallery of Colorado Springs, Colorado did just that for former 'Tonight Show' host Conan O'Brien with over 2,000 Cheetos of the crunchy, puffed and "flamin' hot" variety. It goes without saying that orange really suits ol' Coco.

[via Roger Ebert's Chicago Sun-Times blog]

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Roger Ebert spills the details on the destruction of his show's old set

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 27th 2009 8:02PM
When illness prevented Roger Ebert from doing the movie review show he had done since 1982, everyone knew that change was inevitable. But no one could have predicted this much change, not even Ebert.

The Chicago Sun-Times movie critic and original host of At The Movies with his longtime partner Gene Siskel talked about how producers completely remade the show.

The changes ranged from the show's hosts down to the famous balcony set that the studio "tore at our set with sledge-hammers, and it collected in a dumpster in the alley."

[via TVTattle]

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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.

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Roger Ebert blasts ESPN's Jay Mariotti

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 30th 2008 12:03PM
Jay MariottiIf you watch ESPN's daily round table sport talk show, Around the Horn, you know that Jay Mariotti is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Or I should say, he was a columnist. Right after the Beijing Olympics, Mariotti returned to the show and all the other reporters -- and host Tony Reali -- kept zinging Jay about not being with the Chicago Sun-Times anymore. At no point did they explain that Mariotti was not fired from his post, he quit.

Then I discovered that a fellow Sun-Times employee, and former TV star himself (At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper), film critic Roger Ebert, was ticked off with Mariotti. Specifically, Ebert reviewed the way Jay chose to walk away from his job. Ebert pointed out that Mariotti had screwed his editors at the Sun-Times by signing a new contract, going to China on their dime (which was actually thousands of dollars), then left the job with a cold e-mail that said simply, "I quit."

I guess Mariotti felt like the newspaper could dump him with an equally cold, "You're fired," but common courtesy suggests that he should have given two-week notice. Or maybe that kind of courtesy is as outmoded a concept as saying thank you for service or holding the door for someone else?

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Is this the end of At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper?

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 21st 2008 2:01PM
Ebert & RoeperI think this was a demise that you could see coming. Remember, back in April, when Chicago Sun-Times film reviewer Roger Ebert and the star of At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper announced he would never be able to return to the TV show because of his health? You knew it then. Now comes the news that the other half of the show, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper, is leaving the program. He's been co-host for eight years, having assumed the seat across the aisle that was originally held by the late movie critic Gene Siskel.

"Several months ago, Disney offered to extend my contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season," Roeper told the Associated Press.

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Update on film critic Roger Ebert

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 1st 2008 7:21PM
Roger EbertI love movies. I'm a movie buff and always have been. I appreciate film critics, even when I don't agree with them. So, today, on the anniversary of Roger Ebert's 41st year reviewing movies for the Chicago Sun-Times, I'm glad to report that Roger Ebert will soon be back reviewing movies. Unfortunately, the same is not true of his ability to appear on his syndicated TV show, At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper.

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."

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Ebert holds his thumbs hostage

by Varun Lella, posted Aug 28th 2007 11:01AM
Roger EbertI love thumbs as much as the next guy. They allow me to grab things, I can use them for sucking in place of my pacifier and, most importantly, they allow me to pass pure, unadulterated judgment on everything from my mom's home-cooked meals (thumbs up) to my new neighbor Steve (sorry Stevie).

However, with the news that film critic Roger Ebert plans on withholding his famous thumb movie rating scale, I have grown tired of the thumb. I really wouldn't mind if you just lop it off (his, not mine).

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TV Squad Daily with Brigitte - VIDEO

by Brigitte Dale, posted Aug 27th 2007 6:59PM
Hey, Brigitte here with TV Squad Daily. I'll be covering the TV stories I find interesting each day, Monday through Friday, in this video blog.

Today on TV Squad Daily:
The video's embedded below, or you can subscribe to this podcast via our feed. Plus, you can also download the file directly.

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Ebert to return for the Oscars

by Anna Johns, posted Oct 12th 2006 6:03PM
roger ebertMovie critic Roger Ebert is still recovering from surgery he had in June to remove a cancerous growth on his salivary gland and then emergency surgery he had in July when a blood vessel burst. Ebert published a letter in Thursday's Chicago Sun-Times saying that he hopes to be back at work (at the paper and on television) in time for the Oscars and the Cannes Film Festival. He also said he plans to review The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, in this Friday's newspaper since a producer managed to get him a DVD copy of the film.

Since Ebert left his television show, Richard Roeper has hosted various guest film critics including Kevin Smith and Jay Leno. This week's co-host is A.O. Scott, a reviewer for the New York Times.

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Roger Ebert writes about his long recovery

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 18th 2006 5:40PM
Roger EbertFor those who have been wondering when Roger Ebert was going to come back and start arguing with Richard Roeper again, you're going to have to wait a little while. Ebert himself sent an e-mail to RogerEbert.com that discusses his longer-than-expected recovery from three recent surgeries: one to remove a cancerous salivary gland from his right jaw, one to fix a burst blood vessel that were weakened by radiation treatments he had three years ago, and another that was not specified.

So, because of all the surgery, Ebert has been in the hospital since June. "I had no idea when I went into the hospital on June 16 that I would still be here on August 16," he writes. He currently is having problems speaking and is weak from all the time in bed. But he seems to be recovering well, even watching movies on a plasma TV that his Ebert & Roeper producer brought to his hospital room. He definitely wants to watch the movie Half Nelson, which substitute critic Kevin Smith said was one of the best movies he's seen in the last ten years. It's too bad he can't speak; I'd have loved it if he and Roeper did an episode from his hospital room.

[via Romenesko]

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Kevin Smith is filling in for Roger Ebert

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 27th 2006 12:18PM
kevin smithIs this Ebert and Roeper's way of sticking it to fellow critic Joel Siegel? For next week's episode of Ebert & Roeper, director Kevin Smith will fill in (he says so on his website). Smith, you probably recall, is in a bit of a bouhaha with Siegel, who walked out of Clerks II in a big huff. He'll be filling Ebert's shoes for one week as the legendary movie critic recovers from emergency surgery. Smith and Roeper will review Miami Vice, Ant Bully, Talladega Nights, Barnyard and (maybe) World Trade Center.

I, for one, am totally interested in what Kevin Smith has to say about all of those movies. He's a huge movie fan and will probably formulate very insightful opinions. I can't decide what I want to see more: Smith bashing Roeper or Miami Vice.

[Via Lost Remote]

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