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Sep 10, 2010 10:37 PM by Alison Haynes

Roger Ebert to appear on movie review show

CHICAGO (AP) - Film critic Roger Ebert, who lost his ability to
speak and eat after cancer surgeries, said Friday that he is
returning to television on a movie review show that he is producing
for public television.
And, Ebert says, the thumbs up and thumbs down reviews made
famous with his late partner Gene Siskel will return.
"This is the rebirth of a dream," Ebert said in a statement.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Sun-Times film critic is
producing "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies" with his wife,
Chaz Ebert. The weekly, half-hour review program will debut in
January and be syndicated nationally on public television stations.
The show will feature co-host Christy Lemire of The Associated
Press and contributing critic Elvis Mitchell of National Public
Radio and former movie critic for The New York Times. Ebert will
have his own segment on the show called "Roger's Office," during
which he will use his computer voice to review new movies or talk
about the state of film.
In a pilot of the new show, Ebert is shown sitting behind a
desk, typing his review of a documentary. The computer voice says
his words as he discusses the film. As Ebert finishes his review,
he says: "I think it's a real discovery on DVD and I give it a big
thumbs up." And he does.
"(Roger Ebert) felt that there's still a need for a straight
forward movie review show to tell you whether or not a critic
thinks the movies are worth seeing," Chaz Ebert said in an
interview. "Christy and Elvis sat in for Roger at various times in
his absence and we thought they were smart and vibrant and exciting
critics."
Earlier this year, Disney-ABC Domestic Television announced the
cancellation of "At The Movies," the successor to Ebert's review
programs with Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and later with the Sun
Times' Richard Roeper.
The new show features Lemire and Mitchell sitting in red movie
theater seats debating back and forth about a movie before issuing
a thumbs up or thumbs down review, not unlike Siskel and Ebert
years before.
Lemire said Siskel was an inspiration when she was starting out
as a film critic and she finds it humbling to be on the same show
as Ebert.
"He's better than ever," she said. "Viewers who love the show
and watched it for decades will be thrilled to see him back."
She also says her goal is to expose viewers to movies they might
not have heard of before.
"We're elated that Christy has been picked to help lead this
new show," said Lou Ferrara, AP's managing editor for
entertainment. "Christy's insightful reviews are read by millions
worldwide - movies still matter - and we believe she is a great
match for this program."
Rich Moskal, head of the Chicago Film Office, said Ebert's
return to the small screen will be welcomed by his loyal fans and
followers.
"He has forged new territory with film criticism throughout his
career and taken it places it hasn't been before in popularizing it
and making it accessible," Moskal said. "This is just another
step in that direction."

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