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With At the Movies dead, Roger Ebert plans a new show

03.25.2010

If you're down in the dumps that At the Movies finally got the axe after 24 seasons, never fear, the show's godfather, Roger Ebert says he’s moving ahead with plans for a new show, called "Roger Ebert presents At the Movies." Well that was a quick turnaround.

The final iteration of At the Movies featured critics A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips, respected critics who had replaced the previously much hated pair of “The Bens,” Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. But just because they new guys were better critics, it didn’t necessarily make for a better show. But Ebert says not to blame any of them in his blog post announcing his new show. He says it was just a victim of the times we live in.

"At the Movies" was one of the last survivors of half-hour syndication. It didn't fail so much as have its format shot out from beneath it. Don't blame Disney. Don't blame Tony Scott and Michael Phillips, the final co-hosts, critics I admire who still have five months left on the air. Don't blame Ben Mankiewicz. Don't blame my pal Richard Roeper, who didn't fancy following the show in a "new direction." Don't blame the cancer that forced me off the show. Don't even blame Ben Lyons. He was the victim of a mistaken hiring decision.

But with Ebert “presenting” the new At the Movies, he hopes to change the tone of film discussion and reporting for the better.

We'll also go New Cinema. Not just the One Weekend Wonders, although you gotta have 'em, but indie films, foreign films, documentaries, restored classics, the new Herzog, the new Bahrani, the new Almodovar. What's new on Instant Streaming. What great movies should everyone see? Hey, Paramount just announced $1 million for ten $100,000 movies. Those kinds of films. What kind of a real movie lover cares who has the "exclusive" first trailer in the newest extrusion of the "Transformer" franchise? It's time to smarten up.

Ebert himself will only appear in a limited capacity, due to his inability to speak due to his recent bout with cancer, but even still, it sounds like a welcome change for the show, and I will be watching when it (hopefully) makes it to the air. Read more about it from Ebert himself over on his blog.

Extra Tidbit: He also says thumbs will return. Thumbs!
Source: Roger Ebert

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