It’s been a while, but Roger Ebert is finally returning to TV in a new show named after him. Starting Friday, January 21, PBS stations will air Ebert Presents At the Movies – except it’s not really his show. Instead, young blood Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Mubi.com will be the hosts. Roger Ebert will only be hosting special segments on each weekly episode, highlighting different topics in film. Other critics will contribute segments to the show, including Kim Morgan and Kartina Richardson.
Apparently Roger and his wife Chaz Ebert will be producing the show, while direction will come from Don Dupree, who directed Siskel & Ebert and Ebert & Roper for 15 years. It’s also being produced in Chicago at WTTW, where Siskel and Ebert first started filming Sneak Previews about 35 years ago. With these people in charge, it’s probably safe to say things will feel somewhat like Ebert’s previous shows.
Ebert obviously would have trouble doing an entire show, after his battles with cancer and the resulting surgeries to fix things. Considering he doesn’t have a voice, I’d imagine he’ll be using his custom text-to-speech voice he had developed as he was losing his own. Still, I’d imagine his segments might be a little painful to watch, considering his past work as a critic. I can see why Lemire and Vishnevetsky are the hosts.
Will you be tuning in?