According to /film Roger Ebert recently tweeted that the new movie television review show he will be producing, (now called Roger Ebert Presents At The Movies) is set to premiere on January 21st in 194 markets in the United States and on the Armed Forces Network worldwide. The bad news is that critic Elvis Mitchell (formerly of the New York Times) who was originally announced to co host with Christy Lemire (of The Associated Press) has been dropped from the show. Even worse the station is considering replacing him with a young man in his 20’s (still unnamed) with little or no experience as a movie critic or as a TV talent.
According to Sun-Times article another possible option, sources said, would involve a pairing of Lemire with another critic described as a female version of tart-tongued former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell.
Now it seems Roger Ebert is under pressure to find a host who is experienced, talented and incredibly well-versed in the language of cinema. Considering the amount of talented critics working in Chicago, I am a bit baffled as to why this is such a problem. It seems the shows producers might be looking for someone a little more camera friendly as appose to finding a good film critic.
Supposedly Ebert will have the final say on the second of the two sparring critics on the show but I remain skeptical considering they had two of the very best with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott and that still wasn’t enough to save the former show.
An announcement should be made before the end of the year so the show can be ready by the 21st.
On a side note, I recommend everyone listen to episode 250 of Sound On Sight Radio when we make a huge announcement somewhat relating to this story.