Earlier this year, the long running weekly series “At the Movies” was canceled after 24 seasons on the air. The ABC network decided it was time to let the program go after a steady decline in ratings, a constant rotation of hosts, and of course the absence of Roger Ebert. Well, we have good news! THR is reporting that Ebert has plans to revive the series and he’s taking it back to its roots — Chicago.
When “At the Movies” first hit the air the year was 1975 and it appeared on a public television station. This was long before it caught the eye of the major networks, which eventually got it into syndication. Ebert is returning to Chicago and keeping the revamped “At the Movies” local with its new home on WTTW Chicago. He’s also bringing in some fresh faces as its hosts, Christy Lemire of The Associated Press, and Elvis Mitchell of NPR.
Ebert wrote about the show’s return on the Sun Times website stating,
“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.”
“At the Movies” will once again feature the infamous Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down rating system that was taken off the syndicated show once Ebert left permanently. The series will debut in January and “Ebert will employ a computer voice to appear on episodes under a segment titled “Roger’s Office.” He won’t bicker with the two hosts though, he’ll being doing his own little thing.
What do you think of the At the Movies return?