Roger Ebert Relaunches At The Movies on PBS

When it was announced earlier this year that ABC had decided to officially cancel their long-running movie review show At The Movies, a lot of people were calling it the end of a era. However, there was still a glimmer of hope when Roger Ebert hinted that he was working on a new movie review show of his own. Now he has finally given us the good news: the At The Movies name has been restored to its rightful owner, and in January 2011 it’s going to be relaunching on PBS under his guidance. Here’s what Ebert had to say:

“This is the rebirth of a dream… I believe that by returning to its public roots, our new show will win better and more consistent time slots in more markets. 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.”

The new show will not be hosted by Ebert, but he will use his computer voice to appear on each episode with a segment called “Roger’s Office”, taking a look at classic, overlooked and new films. The new hosts will be Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Elvis Mitchell of NPR, who will bring back the classic “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down” rating system. The other good news is that for the very first time the show will be available in HD. It sounds like PBS is an ideal home for the show, and it should help ensure that the age old formula doesn’t get ripped apart in search of better ratings. Are you excited about the return of At The Movies?

  • Double_A

    This is great news – I grew up on Siskel and Ebert and loved it.
    I only hope they can get a good/consistant time slot in my area. I would have watched At The Movies regularly but only caught a few episodes – I never knew when it was on.

  • rjdelight

    They should have kept A.O Scott and Michael whats-his-name.

  • KeithTalent

    This is perfect and it absolutely belongs on PBS. I’ll definitely be watching.

  • 1138

    Wow! Talk about coming full circle! Congrats Ebert you were great on primetime but you really belong on PBS! It will be a great venue for the show! I will definitely catch the first episode!

  • Henrik

    I won’t watch this obviously, but I think it’s a great thing. I mean how can you not love Eberts reasoning, hopefully the show can live up to what he promises.

  • D. R.

    Fantastic news. I’m already missing the old show and the new show will fill the gap. Too bad Phillips and Scott weren’t tapped, but I’m sure the new folks will be just fine. Also, nice that it’s on public TV, away from the earn-ratings-or-die environment of commercial broadcasting.

  • rjdelight

    Here’s a preview of the new show, complete with an Iron Man 2 review.

  • Brendan H

    A woman and a black man hosting together? What is this, “Affirmative Action At The Movies?” Thanks a lot, Barack HUSSAIN Obama! I suppose they’ll re-review “Jungle Fever” just so they can give it a thumbs up! But thumbs up what, I might add? Hmm? HMMMM?!?
    (End fake racist and sexist rant)
    Seriously though, I was mildly interested until I watched that preview version. Granted, it’s only a taste of what the full show might be like, but I’m pretty lukewarm on the hosts.

  • rjdelight

    @ Brendan

    I agree (Not about the racist/sexist stuff lol), when I first read the post I was pumped for an At the Movies return, but after watching the preview I’m not sure I’ll be watching on a regular basis.

  • Sad to see Elvis Mitchell go “thumbs up or down” because he is one of the few broadcast critics out there offering up knowledgeable film criticism. Also, he seems to like everything.

    Glad for Ebert and I’ll check out the show, but I can imagine the public responding well to his new face and voice on television. Wish him the best, but I can’t see it.

  • Yeah Elvis is great, and Christy seems watchable. It is funny that the white male critic has been abandoned. Omar sounds like he is reading off a cue card and Kim seems to have an overt feminist agenda and be completely humourless. I’d actually like to see Ebert’s clips released online every week and not be constrained by the show. However I guess that may be the main draw of the show initially.

    Affirmative Action At The Movies! That was a good laugh Brendan.

  • Me

    At the movies was on CBS not ABC.

  • Sam

    I’m not fuckin’ watching it if The Two Bens aren’t hosting.