With weary Americans returning to their local multiplex in droves (last weekend's box-office receipts were up 50 percent compared to the prior weekend), longtime Entertainment Tonight film critic Leonard Maltin has reason to be hopeful that his new syndicated series Hot Ticket (check local listings) will find an audience.
The show is basically him, E!'s Todd Newton and a revolving door of celeb guests debating the merits of new film releases. "Everybody likes to talk about the movies," Maltin tells TV Guide Online. "It's a chance to escape, and I think that will appeal to a lot of people [right now]."
Certainly, Ticket's Odd Couple-esque pairing of Maltin and co-host Newton is worth the price of admission. Laughs Maltin: "Todd likes to say, 'Leonard's interested in things like plot development, and I'm interested in fast cars and pretty girls.' We couldn't be more different." Still, it appears the two have clicked. "I don't mean to sound Pollyanna-ish," he says, "but we really like each other. I daresay we've hit it off."
And with whom would Maltin like to hit it off guest-wise? "I don't really have a wish list," he muses, "but one guest that would be really neat is Bill Clinton
. He's an avowed movie buff, and I imagine he'd have plenty of interesting opinions to share."