Episodes: 48+ (half-hour)
TV show dates: January 21, 2011 – 2012
Series status: Cancelled/Hiatus
Performers include: Christy Lemire, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Roger Ebert, Bill Kurtis, Jackson Murphy, Kim Morgan, Omar Moore and Chaz Ebert.
TV show description:
This weekly program continues the film criticism format that was made popular by Chicago newspaper critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel on shows like Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert and At the Movies. Siskel died in 1999 and Ebert’s involvement with the final incarnation, At the Movies, ended in 2008. The show itself was cancelled in August 2010.
A month later, Ebert and his wife Chaz announced that they would be producing a new program. A pilot had been shot with Christy Lemire and Elvis Mitchell as hosts but Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky ended up being the show’s permanent critics. The two deliver their reviews from the same studio which Siskel and Ebert used to tape their first show, Opening Soon at a Theater Near You. A new set was created for the show but Lemire and Vishnevetsky sit in the theater seats originally used by Siskel and Ebert on Sneak Previews.
Ebert writes reviews for the show but they are spoken by newsman Bill Kurtis. Ebert hasn’t been able to speak following one of his surgeries connected with thyroid cancer.
Guest contributors include teenage movie critic Jackson Murphy, Kim Morgan, Omar Moore, and producer Chaz Ebert.
Behind the Scenes
In November 2011, Ebert announced that the show would be going on hiatus due to lack of funding. Though the series has a loyal following and is run in all of the top markets, the Eberts must find funding to produce the show. Since the show’s inception, they funded production themselves and were unable to continue.
Image courtesy Ebert.