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AMC reels in ‘Movie Club’

Skein's critics will sound off on week's new pics

John Ridley has signed up to host a movie review show for AMC.

“Movie Club With John Ridley” premieres Dec. 17 and will air both Fridays at 11 p.m. and on Sunday mornings, where it will follow showbiz gabfest “Sunday Morning Shootout” in AMC’s Hollywood Insider Block.

Ridley will moderate the weekly skein, presiding over a rotating stable of critics — both working writers and industryites — who will sound off on the week’s theatrical and DVD releases. Special themed episodes planned include shows tied to the holidays, the Golden Globes and the Oscars.

Show creator John Davies exec produces with Sandy Wernick.

“Movie Club” will add another original offering to AMC, which has been on a ratings roll in the past year. Against the broadcasters’ November sweeps, AMC finished among the top 10 ad-supported cablers in primetime, marking a 17% increase in total viewers from last year and 23% more in 18-49.

Reviewers set for the premiere episode include “The Onion” entertainment writer Nathan Rabin; CNN journo Anderson Jones; UC Riverside pop culture professor Josh Kun; and KTLA entertainment reporter Zorianna Kit.

AMC senior VP of programming and production Rob Sorcher said “Movie Club,” the network’s first film-review show, seemed a fitting addition to the channel’s positioning as an outlet for contemporary pics.

“As a destination for movie fans, there was no question this needed to be on our air,” Sorcher said. “We’re expecting some passionate and heated debates typical of film buffs. And John will bring this great authority based on his background and experience.”

Ridley wrote and produced the feature “Undercover Brother” and came up with the story for “Three Kings.” He is a regular commentator on NPR and produced the NBC drama “Third Watch.”

He said the show was not going to be “ultra-irreverent.”

“We want to dissect the film intelligently, but at the same time, our goal is to orient the criticism toward people who love movies,” he said. “Current criticism doesn’t really work — critics may hate most horror films, but audiences line up for them. Our commitment is to make movie reviews fun again.”

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