Damn you, Indecision!

See you at the movies – Roger Ebert’s Journal

I can’t reveal details about the talks we’re deeply involved in. I can say that the working title was “Roger Ebert presents Fill in Words Here,” and that it has now become “Roger Ebert presents At the Movies.” Gene Siskel and I started using that title way back in 1980, when we left PBS for Tribune Broadcasting. I can also say the Thumbs will return.

G&R ATM.jpg

I can also say that we held video tests with several potential hosts two weeks ago in Los Angeles, and know who we will use. We also know we will have a strong web presence. We will go full-tilt New Media: Television, net streaming, cell phone apps, Facebook, Twitter, iPad, the whole enchilada. The disintegration of the old model creates an opening for us.

Back when Siskel and Ebert had their movie review show At the Movies, I didn’t pay it much attention, because I generally didn’t take many movie critics’ reviews to heart when deciding what to see. Sure, sometimes I was curious about what certain critics, including Roger Ebert, thought about a movie, but their reviews didn’t sway me much. And because sometimes Ebert would hate a movie that I didn’t think was so bad, seemingly not getting the idea behind the movie, I kind of got this “grouchy guy” vibe from him that turned me off. I therefore didn’t really follow the changes that At the Movies went through, though I did know via the news about Gene Siskel’s passing, Richard Roeper becoming the new co-host, and Roger Ebert’s fight against cancer. All that said, I still wasn’t a regular reader or fan of Roger Ebert…until I started following him on Twitter. IIRC, Andy Ihnatko’s frequent tweets to Roger Ebert made me curious about what Ebert posted on Twitter, and I ended up following Ebert that way. Well, once I did, I was treated to a ton of interesting posts, including this one about Ebert’s upcoming movie review show. What grabbed me most was how he said that the new show would be taking full advantage of “new media”, creating a major online presence for the show. I’ve always railed against people in the movie and music industries wanting to hold on to the old way of doing things, shunning technology, digital downloads, the whole shebang. It is awesome that Roger Ebert is one of the people in the movie industry who doesn’t share this luddite attitude. I fully look forward to the new show coming out, and highly recommend that if you aren’t already following Roger Ebert on Twitter (@ebertchicago) that you do so ASAP.


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