Disney-ABC Domestic TV’s venerable weekly film review show “At the Movies” confirmed Tuesday that Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz have been tapped to co-host a new iteration of the series, which begins its 23rd season the weekend of Sept. 6. On Monday, longtime co-hosts and Chicago Sun-Times staffers Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper quit the show (Daily Variety, July 21).
“At the Movies” also plans to introduce a different look and segments to the show in September, including a “Critics Round-Up,” during which the co-hosts will engage with other crix around the country via satellite.
E! Entertainment critic and blogger Lyons reviews films and covers red carpet events for “E! News,” “The Daily Ten” and E! Online series “The Lyons Den.” Lyons makes frequent appearances on “Good Morning America” and MTV’s “Your Movie Show,” among others.
Mankiewicz has hosted for Turner Classic Movies for five years, as well as the alternative pop-culture radio show “The Young Turks.” Mankiewicz was also a reporter and anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston, S.C., and served as the anchor of “The Times,” a daily newsmag at WAMI-TV Miami.
Lyons and Mankiewicz are both following in their family’s showbiz traditions. Lyons is the son of film critic Jeffrey Lyons. Mankiewicz’s grandfather was famed Hollywood scribe Herman Mankiewicz, and he’s also the great-nephew of helmer Joseph Mankiewicz and cousin of screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz.
Film critic Ebert, who had been affiliated with “At the Movies” for 23 years but had been sidelined by illness since 2006, quit the show Monday after Disney-ABC Domestic TV, which distributes the syndicated show from Buena Vista Prods., halted contract extension negotiations with columnist Roeper. Roeper’s contract had expired after eight seasons. Roeper and current co-host Michael Phillips, a critic for the Chicago Tribune, will tape four more shows to run through the weekend of Aug. 15. Both are pursuing other options for doing a show together.
Also Tuesday, Buena Vista Prods. named supervising producer David Plummer as exec producer of “At the Movies.” He succeeds Don Dupree, who is exiting after 22 years with the show.