At the Movies - A.O. Scott, Michael Phillips
At the Movies, which traces its lineage back 35 years, will end this summer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film-review series, once known as Siskel & Ebert after the show's first and longtime hosts, will air its final original program on the weekend of Aug. 14.
"This was a very difficult decision, especially considering the program's rich history and iconic status within the entertainment industry, but from a business perspective it became clear this weekly, half-hour, broadcast syndication series was no longer sustainable," the show's distributor, Disney-ABC Domestic TV, said in a statement obtained by THR.
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At the Movies began as Sneak Previews. It debuted in Chicago in 1975 and was hosted by then-dueling Chicago newspaper film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. The program moved to syndication in 1982 and made both hosts, as well as their signature "thumbs-up/thumbs-down" rating, famous.
Ebert and Siskel co-hosted the program together until 1999, when Siskel died of complications from brain surgery at 53. Chicago Tribune critic Richard Roeper took over Siskel's spot the following year, and the show was renamed Ebert & Roeper.
In 2006, Ebert was forced to step down from the program after undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer, as complications from the surgery severly impaired his ability to speak.
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In an attempt to reach out to a younger audience, new critics Ben Lyons (of E! Entertainment Television) and Sirius radio and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz took over in 2008, when the program was renamed At the Movies. However, the move was widely criticized and after less than a year, both hosts were placed by The New York Times film critic A.O. Scott and Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips in August 2009.
The cancelation of At the Movies not only marks the end of an important cultural touchstone, but also puts another dent in the livelihood of film reviews. During recent years of financial hardship at newspapers and magazines across the country, many film critics have lost their jobs.
Ebert, 67, continues to review films for the Chicago Sun-Times and late Wednesday tweeted: "RIP, 'At the Movies'. Memories." Scott responded via Twitter: "Such an honor to sit in your chair, even if only for a little while."