The A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips iteration of At the Movies aired its final episode last month, but celebrated film critic Roger Ebert will bring back his own half-hour movie review program with a twist. Over at Roger Ebert’s Journal, from the critic’s long-time home The Chicago Sun-Times, it has been announced that Ebert will produce Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies, an all-new half-hour program slated to start airing in January of 2011. In addition to reviewing movies with the copyrighted Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down format, the program will also focus on coverage of New Media, special segments on classics, on-demand viewing and genres. So who will take post as hosts of the new series? Find out after the jump.
Christy Lemire of the Associated Press and Elvis Mitchell of National Public Radio and formerly The New York Times, will serve as the principal co-hosts of the show. Meanwhile, regular contributors and occasional co-hosts include film bloggers Kim Morgan, who has written for outlets like MSN Movies and Entertainment Weekly (along with her own blog Sunset Gun), and Omar Moore, who runs his own Popcorn Reel. Lemire, Mitchell and Morgan have all previously co-hosted At the Movies after the death of Gene Siskel in 1999.
As for Ebert’s involvement with the show beyond his producing responsibilities, he’ll also employ his fancy computer-assisted voice generator to appear on every episode for a segment called Roger’s Office which will be devoted to classic, overlooked and new films. However, Ebert will not be interjecting his opinions on the critiqued movies along with the co-hosts as the critic says, “They’ll be awarding the thumbs, and you can’t have three thumbs.” As for the format of the show itself and a return to PBS, here’s what Ebert had to say about his new endeavor:
“This is the rebirth of a dream. In addition to reviews of new movies, debated by Christy and Elvis, the pilot included a segment with Kim discussing a classic film noir, Omar discussing the growing role of the internet in the success of indie films, a segment with Christy and Kim discussing new women directors, and a segment where I review a new indie documentary. 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.”
You’ll find a sneak preview of Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies just below, and we’ll be looking forward to its premiere after the new year.