Ebert Presents at the Movies on WXXI-TV

Ebert Presents at the Movies on WXXI-TV

Sun, 01/23/2011 - 6:30pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert returns to television with Roger Ebert Presents at the Movies.

Ebert Presents at the Movies, a weekly half-hour film review program, premieres Sunday January 23 at 6:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT 21.1/cable 1011 and 11). The program, produced by Chaz and Roger Ebert, continues its 35-year run of a show first co-hosted by Gene Siskel and Ebert and later by Ebert and Richard Roeper and others at Buena Vista Television/Disney. It will return to its birthplace, WTTW Chicago, which will serve as the presenting station for its launch nationally on public television. The show began as Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You, and later became Sneak Previews, where it became the highest-rated entertainment show in PBS history.

The Eberts said in addition to reviewing new movies it will expand into coverage of New Media, special segments, and an extended website. It will use the copyrighted "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down"® format made famous by Siskel & Ebert.

The program's principal co-host will be Christy Lemire, film critic of The Associated Press. She will be joined by contributing critic Elvis Mitchell of National Public Radio. Christy has been reviewing films for the AP since 1999 and became the first full-time film critic in the news organization's history in 2004. She is a Los Angeles native with a mother who loved Fellini and a father who loved Bogart. Mitchell is a former film critic for The New York Times and a contributor to NPR.

"This is the rebirth of a dream," said Ebert, who partnered in recent years with Richard Roeper. He said he will act as co-producer and employ a computer voice to appear on every episode, with segments titled “Roger’s Office,” with points of view and reviews devoted to classics, overlooked, and new films. He will not debate with the two co-hosts. "They'll be awarding the Thumbs, and you can't have three Thumbs," he said.

Occasional contributors will be Kim Morgan of Los Angeles and Omar Moore of San Francisco both respected and popular film bloggers. Morgan specializes in her love of film noir and classic cinema at www.sunsetgun.com and writes for MSN and the Huffington Post. Moore, an attorney, publishes reviews, essays, and video essays on his site, www.popcornreel.com. He is also a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. Lemire, Mitchell, and Morgan were guest co-hosts after the death of Siskel.