Roger Ebert reviving "At the Movies" on public TV

Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:24pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Legendary film critic and Twitter master Roger Ebert said he is reviving his classic half-hour review program "At the Movies" on the public broadcasting channel PBS.

Titled "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies," the show will be hosted by Christy Lemire, film critic of The Associated Press, and Elvis Mitchell of National Public Radio.

Ebert noted that the series, whose long-running syndicated version was recently canceled, was returning to its public station birthplace.

The new program will launch on WTTW Chicago, just like the original incarnation of "At the Movies" (titled "Opening Soon at a Theater Near You") did in 1975.

"At the Movies" will bring back Ebert's copyrighted "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" rating device, which was removed from the syndicated program after Ebert left the show following a battle with cancer that left him unable to speak.

"This is the rebirth of a dream," Ebert wrote in a statement. "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."

Ebert will act as co-producer along with his wife, Chaz Ebert. The show will debut in January. Ebert will employ a computer voice to appear on episodes under a segment titled "Roger's Office." He says he will not debate the two co-hosts. "They'll be awarding the Thumbs, and you can't have three Thumbs."

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