Final Season for ‘At the Movies’

posted by Michael Zoldessy on March 30, 2010 at 10:39 am

The TV show that introduced many to Siskel and Ebert will be leaving the airwaves this summer. While we talk so often about what’s changed in the theater industry, the distribution of information on films has also been redefined in the internet age.

Disney-ABC Domestic Television, which distributes “At the Movies,” and ABC Media Productions, which produces it, said in a statement late Wednesday that the current version of the show, which is hosted by Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune and A. O. Scott of The New York Times, would broadcast its last original episode the weekend of Aug. 14.

The demise of “At the Movies” was a blow to the legions of armchair reviewers it spawned in its many incarnations, some of whom went on to professional careers in criticism. “It’s impossible to overestimate the impact of what Gene and Roger did,” Mr. Scott, the co-chief film critic at The Times, said in a telephone interview. “Any one of us who’s doing this now, on any platform or in any medium, is following them.”

Read more in the New York Times.

Comments (13)

kencmcintyre on March 30, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I thought the show was never the same after Gene Siskel passed away. There was a chemistry between the two critics that Ebert was never able to duplicate with anyone else. I remember them from the very beginning when they were on public television.

moviebuff82 on March 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I used to like that show but nowadays before seeing a movie I read up on rotten tomatoes and read EW.

JohnRice on March 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I hate to see it go. That program along with other well written print film criticism has saved me lots of money by avoiding turkeys and led me to some real gems I would have otherwise missed. True it’s never been the same since Siskel died and Ebert left though. Roeper was and is a lightweight critic and so were the two Bens. I think it was back on the right track with the New York Times A.O. Scott and the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips though. Nowadays young people in particular don’t read and don’t care what critics think. It’s just what blockbuster has been hyped the most and what everybody else is going to see this weekend! “Hey dude I saw Avatar yesterday! It was hecka good!” That’s film criticism in the 21st century!

JodarMovieFan on March 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Its sad to see the review program go, but to be honest, I stopped watching after Roger Ebert left the show a few years back. I never liked Richard Roeper’s reviews or style as he seemed too kvetchy. I also remember when Siskel & Ebert started together on the Sneak Previews program on PBS back in the 70s. It would be great of the reviews from back then could be on YouTube or somewhere else on the net.

42ndStreetMemories on March 31, 2010 at 8:04 am

I agree with jwr, after suffering through the two Bens -a lame attempt at drawing a younger audience – the show as back at the top of its game with two intellectual and humorous co-hosts. My wife and I hope that they somehow continue – maybe create their own venture on the web.

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on March 31, 2010 at 9:10 am

I’ll never forget when Gene Siskel gave a thumbs down to BLADE RUNNER back in 1982. I never forgot that unfortunate verdict and I always wondered if he came to feel differently about the film as the years went on and it’s standing in sci-fi film history became apparent.

candy42221 on March 31, 2010 at 10:09 am

ZHEJIANG JINGYI CO., LTD is a leading high brightness sanitary ware manufacturer and exporter in China. We have CE,ROHS,WRAS and ISO9001 certificate for worldwide market in order to promise the product security for every customer. Being directed by company’s manage doctrine of service, innovation, repayment, JINGYI lead healthy life, JINGYI has achieved quite great progress and development through making great efforts, improving and innovating constantly since company was founded in 2001.
TEL:0086-577-26655821 26655822

KingBiscuits on March 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

The latest news: Roger Ebert may make a return to television despite the loss of his voice (he has had a personalized voice synthiziser made for him though which duplicates the sound of his old voice, thanks to archived audio of Ebert before he was diagnosed with throat cancer).

John Fink
John Fink on March 31, 2010 at 6:51 pm


Bring Back The Bens!

(just kidding)

I’m glad Ebert is attempting to go viral according to his blog and use new media, he’s an interesting case study of someone who has technologically reinvented himself, perhaps out of necessity but he still remains the most important voice of film criticism, despite what the jerk whose trying to sell me high brightness sanitary ware(?) is saying.

kencmcintyre on April 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm

What is the deal with the Chinese ad? How did that get that on here?

CSWalczak on April 4, 2010 at 2:17 am

It is spam; spammers sometimes open accounts on public sites with comment sections just like this so that can post irrelevant garbage. The moderators don’t always catch this stuff.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on April 4, 2010 at 4:51 pm


raysson on April 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Who remembers SNEAK PREVIEWS when they had Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert? I fondly remember this show back in the mid-1970’s and watch it religiously during the 1980’s and 1990’s. I had a photo of Gene and Roger from those Golden days. When Public Broadcasting was the show to watch for informative and educational programming!

The show hasn’t been the same since the tragic and sudden loss of Gene Siskel….his replacement? From Neal Gabler to Leonard Matlin and in one segment some jerk who was so arrogant that he almost killed this beloved and well respected show. It hasn’t been the same since…..I think Rex Reed and Gene Shalit(of NBC’s Today Show)came on board as special guest commentators.

It will be a sad days when they take this show off the air after more than 30 years on both public television and in syndication.
It will be truly,truly,truly,missed…..Bless you Roger Ebert whereever you are!

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment