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Ebert Relaunches At the Movies on PBS with Lemire, Mitchell

by Anne Thompson
September 10, 2010 5:57 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Roger Ebert announced his relaunch of At the Movies, a month after the demise of his former show on Disney/ABC, in his blog, naturally, and on Twitter. Critics Christy Lemire (AP) and Elvis Mitchell (KCRW-FM), who were guest hosts on At the Movies with Richard Roeper after Ebert fell ill from cancer, will be the show's principal co-hosts. Bloggers Kim Morgan and Omar Moore will also contribute to the program, writes Ebert on his site:

"Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies," a weekly half-hour film review program, was announced today by its producers, Chaz and Roger Ebert. The program continues the 35-year-old run of a reviewing format first introduced by Gene Siskel and Ebert and later by Ebert and Richard Roeper. It will return to its birthplace, launching nationally on public television with presenting station WTTW Chicago, where it began in 1975 as "Opening Soon at a Theater Near You" and then in 1976 as "Sneak Previews," became the highest rated entertainment show in PBS history. The original format moved into syndication as "At the Movies" in 1982 with Tribune Entertainment and a quarter-century with Buena Vista Television.

The Eberts said the new program will air in January 2011, and in addition to reviewing new movies will expand into coverage of New Media, special segments on classics, on-demand viewing and genres, and an extended website. It will use the copyrighted "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down"® format made famous by Siskel & Ebert.

"I believe that by returning to its public roots, our new show will win better and more consistent time slots in more markets," added Ebert. "American television is swamped by mindless gossip about celebrities, and I'm happy this show will continue to tell viewers honestly if the critics think a new movie is worth seeing."

Hallelujah. All I have to do is TiVo the show every week and watch it on Sunday night, and my old ritual will be alive and well. Mitchell and Lemire are both strong, sexy TV presences who can be counted on to keep things lively, although I was fond of the last At the Movies hosts Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, who are also trying to work up something new. They were likely too serious for today's ruthless TV market, finally. Going back to PBS is probably the right move in order to keep the show smart.


  • jl | September 14, 2010 8:06 AMReply

    But will Mitchell be smoking his cigars and sitting on a box of cash?

  • Bobby Jo | September 11, 2010 12:02 PMReply

    It is good that the show is back up and running, however I always felt Chirsty Lemire to be a very weak film critic and I would have loved to seen the last two hosts return instead.

  • Elias | September 11, 2010 9:40 AMReply

    fantastic, I was just so sad the show was suspended. I hope there will be a website where one can watch the series over the internet as I am from europe and will not be able to watch american television :/

  • Adam | September 11, 2010 8:05 AMReply

    I'm not crazy about Lemeire. I feel she is a little to feminine in her attitudes toward certain films, but Mitchell seems alright. His TCM stuff is pretty good. I feel Phelps and Scott should be involved in some capacity they brought back intelligence and dignity to the old show (albeit for a short time). Hope they get something new going! I personally think Richard Roeper should be a host. I love his sarcasm! Can't wait for his new project! Also I think Reelz channel should have their own film review program. Maybe one of the more youth oriented networks should also try to enter this televison subgenre as long as it actually has reviews, not a bunch of annoyingly edited clips and sound bites. Kind of passionate about this stuff because I'm an ocasssional online/print critic myself. This generation needs good intelligent critique oriented shows. There is enough fluff and cough...cough, reality! Thank god the show is coming back to PBS. No commercials...yeah!

  • Jason | September 11, 2010 7:49 AMReply

    Good going, Roger! This is wonderful news. Can't wait!

  • pete | September 11, 2010 7:32 AMReply

    good to hear. I love Elvis Mitchell.

  • John | September 11, 2010 5:26 AMReply

    What about Richard Roeper? I'm kind of sad he won't be involved.

  • head_wizard | September 10, 2010 11:59 AMReply

    Any idea what Phelps and Scott are trying to do? I loved there show.

  • Scott Cherney | September 10, 2010 11:14 AMReply

    Good news for film fans, especially with the addition of Elvis Mitchell and Kim Morgan, an excellent writer I've followed since her days here in Portland, Oregon.

  • Geoff | September 10, 2010 7:56 AMReply

    Boy howdy!

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