"Roger Ebert Presents at The Movies" will begin airing on PBS in January, with Ebert's wife Chaz producing. NPR's Elvis Mitchell and Christy Lemire of the Associated Press will serve as the show's hosts. And yes, they will be using the copyrighted Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down system made famous by the original show. Kim Morgan and Omar Moore will be chipping in as regular contributors and fill-in hosts.
Ebert had to leave the show in 2006 when he was stricken with throat cancer, which ultimately cost him the use of his voice. Nonetheless, he too will be a regular contributor, voicing segments with a computer-generated voice, ala Stephen Hawking.
Check out the demo teaser that's been posted on YouTube:
For just about every movie fan over the age of 30, "At the Movies" was a regular part of life, the only place to get a weekly fix on the newest movies, featuring the constant banter of Ebert and co-host Gene Siskel. The two obviously had a real friendship, and made each other rich and famous, but the tension at times was so high, they seemed on the verge of fisticuffs even when they agreed on a film.
The loss of his voice has by no means silenced Ebert, as he has continued to watch and review films, blogs often and is a heavy twitterer -- and not one of those half-mad twitterits like Buzz Bissinger, he actually conveys complete thoughts in full sentences with proper grammar. It's quite something.
We're big fans of both Ebert and Mitchell and are pretty happy to have "At The Movies" on its way back.
"This is the rebirth of a dream," said Ebert in announcing the show's launch.