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.
This is rather amazing. I continue to be impressed by how Ebert is living his life. [via Videogum]
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.
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.
Allison 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.
We've all been waiting a long time for Roger Ebert to come back to his seat on Ebert & Roeper, and now it looks like we might have to wait a while longer.
Ebert writes in a message on his web site that he has gone in for more surgery today. He doesn't go into details about the procedure, but he says that he hopes that this will "solve some problems I've been living with." He won't be in the hospital as long as he was before, but it's not day surgery either. He'll be in there long enough to have prepared some film reviews and other columns in advance so they can run while he's away.
Ebert & Roeper co-host Richard Roeper has a new gig, host of the new monthly Starz series Starz Inside.
Or maybe we should say Roeper has another gig, as he'll be staying with the longrunning syndicated movie review show too. Starz Inside will be a series of specials that take a behind the scenes look at the movie industry. Episodes will include "Fog City Mavericks: The Filmmakers of San Francisco," which will feature George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, and Chris Columbus and "Hollywood Goes Gaming," which will have the history of video games and their effect on the movie industry. They'll even have an episode on "Bloodsucking Cinema," which will showcase the world of vampires on the big screen.
The show premieres on September 24 at 9pm.
This is rather stunning news.
ABC movie critic and entertainment editor Joel Siegel has died at the age of 63. He had been battling colon cancer for a very long time, since discovering he had it at age 57. His family and friends were with him when he died.
Siegel started at WABC-TV and then reviewed movies on Good Morning America He also authored the book Lessons For Dylan, a guidebook for his unborn son on how to live life. He was also one of the cofounders of Gilda's Club, along with Gene Wilder, who lost wife Gilda Radner to cancer.
Ebert has already had three surgeries. In 2002, he had a malignant tumor removed from his thyroid gland, and in 2003 he had two surgeries on his salivary glands. Ebert says that the cancer is not life-threatening, he won't need radiation therapy, and he'll continue as a film critic while all of this is going on.
On a personal note, I wish Ebert well. He has always been very generous and kind to me in my other life as a magazine publisher, contributing articles when he really didn't have to, so I hope that everything turns out OK and he's back battling with Richard Roeper about the summer movies.
Update: Ebert will tape several episodes of Ebert & Roeper so they will air during his recovery.
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