March 25, 2010 / 5:25 AM / 10 years ago

Long-running review show "At the Movies" canceled

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The balcony is closed.

This is the last season of “At the Movies,” the long-running syndicated film-review show made into a hit in the 1980s by dueling Chicago critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

The show’s roots go back to 1975’s “Sneak Previews.”

Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic TV said in a statement:

“After 24 seasons with us in national syndication, the highly regarded movie review show ‘At the Movies’ (formerly known as “Siskel & Ebert” and “Ebert & Roeper”) will air its last original broadcast the weekend of August 14, 2010.

“This was a very difficult decision, especially considering the program’s rich history and iconic status within the entertainment industry, but from a business perspective it became clear this weekly, half-hour, broadcast syndication series was no longer sustainable. We gratefully acknowledge the outstanding work of the program’s current co-hosts, A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips, and top-notch production staff, and it is with heartfelt appreciation that we extend very special thanks to the two brilliant, visionary and incomparable critics that started it all, Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel.”

Online reviews and aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic have made it easier than ever for fans to find knowledgeable opinions about movies, and have evolved the consumption of criticism in such a way that made the half-hour review show seem dated.

In addition, “At the Movies” never found a critics’ pairing to match the chemistry of Siskel and Ebert.

Ebert tweeted: “RIP At the Movies.”

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