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October 22, 2014

at the movies

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...)

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'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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'At the Movies' Canceled

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 25th 2010 9:45AM
At The MoviesThis is rather sad, as far as TV show cancellations go: 'At The Movies' is going away after 30 years on the air.

The show that Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel started so many years ago is a victim of the modern age. People get their movie reviews from so many places now, half-hour syndicated shows like this aren't as plentiful as they used to be, and this show went through so many changes in the past few years that it was easy to see that it would be gone soon.

It's actually a miracle that the show survived the whole Ben Lyons debacle, so we should be glad that we got a year with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott.

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Here's What Roger Ebert's New "Voice" Sounds Like

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 2nd 2010 1:29PM
Roger Ebert appeared on 'Oprah' today (with his wife Chaz) and he debuted his new "voice." CereProc took commentary tracks that Ebert did for various DVDs and created a voice for Ebert that sounds like his and not just a generic computerized voice.

This is rather amazing. I continue to be impressed by how Ebert is living his life.

[via Videogum]

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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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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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A tribute to Siskel & Ebert

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 14th 2009 2:03PM
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert can probably be credited with really getting everyone interested in movie criticism. Before Sneak Previews, people would read movie reviews, sure, but they brought intelligent film criticism to television and became a huge part of pop culture.

This is a tribute from The Nostalgia Critic, and he covers the history of the show, from the start on PBS to the death of Siskel in 1999 to the hosts that eventually replaced them. He probably needs to get a better microphone, but it's well-done.(Slightly NSFW.)

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A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips on revitalizing At The Movies

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Oct 23rd 2009 3:02PM
A.O. Smith and Michael Phillips head up the new season of At the Movies.It looks like the new crew at Disney's At the Movies is turning the ship around.

The new series run with fresh hosts (New York Times film critic, A.O. Scott (left), and Chicago Tribune film critic, Michael Phillips (right)) has gone 180 degrees in the other direction from the lighter, more sensationalized previous season.

Last year's host combination of Ben Mankiewicz and Ben Lyons often came off more glib than informative -- leaving both critics and fans wondering what happened to the more measured, analytical tone of former hosts Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper and the late Gene Siskel.

Between the two of them, Scott and Phillips bring decades of entertainment writing and critiquing experience -- combining a love of movies with a willingness to tick off the Hollywood powers that be when necessary.

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New At The Movies promo introduces new hosts, dumps on the old ones

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 3rd 2009 3:27PM
I'm glad that At The Movies has new hosts. The two Bens just didn't work out. The new hosts in the reviewing chairs are A.O. Scott from The New York Times and Michael Phillips from The Chicago Tribune, both of whom filled in for Roger Ebert several times. Here's a preview where the two critics tell us about themselves.

Funny how the announcer says that there will be "serious reviews" by "serious journalists." I'm taking that as a dig at Ben and Ben. It premieres this weekend.

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'At the Movies' Replaces Lyons, Mankiewicz: Will It Work?

by Andrew Scott, posted Aug 6th 2009 1:00PM
At the MoviesFor Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz, the balcony is closed.

After only a year on the job, the duo has been dropped from hosting the weekend movie review show 'At the Movies,' according to ABC News. They'll be replaced by film critics A.O. Scott (The New York Times) and Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune), effective Sept. 5.

As hosts, Lyons and Mankewicz received a big thumbs down from their peers. Lyons in particular was the subject of a great deal of bad press, such as a 2008 LA Times piece asking the question "Is Ben Lyons the most hated film critic in America?" Many -- including those at the website StopBenLyons.com -- took issue with Lyons' reviews, particularly 2007's 'I Am Legend,' which he called one of the greatest movies ever made.

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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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Nobody likes the new At The Movies

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 29th 2008 7:02PM
Ben LyonsI admit, I still watch At The Movies. Though I miss both Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, I like having a weekly film review show that I can turn to. Of course, the show is a bit of a mess, and film critics Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz don't have a tenth the influence (or movie knowledge) of Ebert, but I still find myself tuning in every Sunday night.

Other people are turning in each week too, only they dislike the show even more than I do. Specifically, they can't stand new critic Ben Lyons, son of Jeffrey and the host of several other shows on TV, including Nickelodeon's My Family's Got Guts.

He also reviews movies and does entertainment reporting for E! Fans think he's a "quote whore" (he's the guy who called I Am Legend "one of the greatest movies ever made"), too buddy-buddy with celebrities, and only got the job because he's the son of film critic Jeffrey Lyons. These people have even started a web site, StopBenLyons.com.

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Five other TV shows where Sarah Palin should appear

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 10th 2008 6:03PM
Sarah with fishSince emerging on the national stage about six weeks ago, Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has become a superstar. Like her or loathe her, she is a celebrity. It's ironic, really, that McCain's so psyched about her high-powered appeal, because that's what his campaign was knocking Obama for just this past summer. Still, the crowds have showed that Palin's appeal to the Republican base, at least, is fervent.

On the other hand, thanks to Palin's poor performance in interview segments with CBS anchor Katie Couric, and Tina Fey's spot-on impression of her on Saturday Night Live, the Governor's image has taken a hit. There have been questions about how smart she is, as well as how qualified she is to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

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At The Movies host to also host new version of GUTS

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 6th 2008 3:03PM
Ben LyonsI know what you're thinking: Roger Ebert is going to host a kid's game show? That's what he's going to do for his return to weekly television? Nah, it's not Roger. And it's not co-host Richard Roeper either. Both are leaving the syndicated movie review show.

It's actually Ben Lyons, son of movie critic Jeffrey Lyons and one of the replacements for Ebert & Roeper (along with Ben Mankiewicz). Lyons is going to host an updated version of the classic Nickelodeon game show GUTS. It will now be called My Family's Got GUTS. Because just GUTS would have sounded stupid?

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Here are the replacements for Ebert and Roeper

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 22nd 2008 1:02PM

Mankiewicz and LyonsAllison told you yesterday that both Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper were leaving their film review show, At The Movies. Ebert has been off the show since 2006 because of health problems and Roeper couldn't come to terms on a new contract. They both explained that Buena Vista wants to take the show in a new direction and that they wouldn't be a part of it. Here is that new direction.

The new hosts of At The Movies are Ben Mankiewicz, a host on TCM, and Ben Lyons, from E!. Not sure how these two got to be the new hosts, other than the fact that they're both named Ben and I'm sure we'll see some cute reference to that, maybe even in the ads or the intro. I like the fact that Mankiewicz is from TCM; makes it sound like he knows what he's talking about (he's also the son of Frank Mankiewicz and the grandson of the guy who wrote Citizen Kane). But Lyons looks about 14 years-old and comes from a network with celeb gossip and reality shows, so that has me a little worried.

Then again, he's the son of film critic Jeffrey Lyons (the host of his own movie review show, Reel Talk), so maybe it's in his blood. But the article above says he called I Am Legend one of the greatest films ever made? Yikes.

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