“Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies,” to be exec produced by Ebert and his wife, Chaz, will launch in January on WTTW and be distributed to public broadcasters nationwide.
Film bloggers Kim Morgan, who writes for http://www.sunsetgun.com and writes for MSN Movies and the Huffington Post, and Omar Moore, who writes at popcornreel.com, will serve as contributors.
Ebert’s decision to revive his own version of “At the Movies” comes after Disney, which distributed the most recent version (hosted by critics A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips), ended that show’s run. “At the Movies” had been struggling to reinvent itself after Ebert, stricken a cancer that robbed him of his voice, was forced to leave the show.
The new Ebert-produced “At the Movies” will be shot in Chicago; a pilot was shot earlier this summer.
WTTW is where Ebert and the late Gene Siskel were first paired, in 1975 on the show “Opening Soon at a Theater Near You” (followed by “Sneak Previews” in 1976). Siskel and Ebert moved to broadcast syndication in 1982 with Tribune’s “At the Movies,” and later moved to Disney’s Buena Vista Television.
Ebert said the new show will use the copyrighted “Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down” format made famous by him and Siskel.
Ebert will also make an appearance to discuss a classic film, via a computer utilizing Ebert’s old voice.
“This is the rebirth of a dream,” Ebert said.
Here’s a promo reel for the new show: