This just in! Roger Ebert announced this morning that only six months after the demise of At the Movies with A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips, Ebert himself will return to a new syndicated version of the program called Roger Ebert Presents At The Movies. (All the details are available at the link.) According to the press release, in addition to reviewing new movies the new program will "expand into coverage of New Media, special segments on classics, on-demand viewing and genres, and an extended website. It will use the copyrighted "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down"® format made famous by Siskel & Ebert.”
The program is good news because Ebert has managed to concoct a way to freshen up the format and make room for all the new formats and venues for watching films, and in doing so he has invited a fine roster of colleagues to join him. Elvis Mitchell and Christy Lemire will be the principal co-hosts, with occasional segments by Kim Morgan (Yay!) on Film Noir and San Francisco-based critic Omar Moore, an attorney and member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle who writes regularly for his website Popcorn Reel. Ebert will co-produce the show and “employ a computer voice to appear on every episode with segments titled Roger's Office devoted to classic, overlooked and new films.” The show’s pilot episode, a sample from which is available to view here, featured reviews of new movies debated by Lemire and Mitchell, and according to Ebert, “a segment with Kim discussing a classic film noir, Omar discussing the growing role of the internet in the success of indie films, a segment with Christy and Kim discussing new women directors, and a segment where I review a new indie documentary."
The new program begins airing January 2011 on PBS.