You can’t keep a good thumb down.
A day after the syndicated TV stalwart At the Movies was officially canceled, Pulitzer winner Roger Ebert wrote on his blog that he and his wife are working on getting a new film-review show off the ground.
“We believe a market still exists for a weekly show where a couple of critics review new movies,” wrote the longtime Chicago Sun-Times critic, who left the show in 2006 after surgery for thyroid cancer left him unable to speak.
In truth, At the Movies‘ popularity had been dwindling since the death of Ebert’s original partner in criticism, Gene Siskel, in 1999. Ebert & Roeper never had quite the same ring, and then the show went on with a series of guest hosts after Ebert bowed out. After Richard Roeper finally left in 2008, the teaming of Ben Mankiewicz and Ben Lyons was a disaster, and A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips didn’t do much better.
Ebert, who appeared on Oprah recently to demonstrate the Steven Hawking-style computer he uses to carry on conversations, and his wife would serve as a producers on the new show. While he wouldn’t regularly appear on camera, he writes, “the thumbs will return.”