Film critic Roger Ebert lost his voice to cancer, and the classic movie-review program he made famous with Gene Siskel, At the Movies, went off the air this year after attempting to continue with other hosts. Now both Ebert and the show will be returning to TV, as Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies is slated to return next year on public television, where the show’s earliest incarnation airs.
According to an announcement at Ebert’s blog, the regular critics on the show will be the AP’s Christy Lemire and NPR’s Elvis Mitchell (who I read, when I was in school, as a critic for the Detroit Free Press back in the day). Ebert will not be a regular thumb-giver, but will appear in a weekly segment using a computer voice.
We can debate whether the proliferation of online criticism makes shows like this less relevant—Ebert, a prolific blogger and tweeter, is a big part of that proliferation—but this is excellent news regardless. And it’s heartening to see that someone wil Ebert’s irreplaceable critical mind can lose the power of speech, yet retain as big a voice as ever.
After the jump, a demo clip (see 4:00 for a taste of how Ebert’s segments will work):