At the Movies

2001, TV Show

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Ask Matt: Good Wife, Fringe, Downton Abbey, Community Roger Ebert & More

The Good Wife

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Question:
What on earth were the writers thinking when they wrote the January 11 episode of The Good Wife? All the lawyers and investigators acted in a disgusting and sleazy manner, and the gratuitous violence against women done by the male investigator was unforgivable. One more repugnant episode like this one and I won't be watching the show. — Ruth

Matt Roush: I'm betting your reaction is exactly what the show's writers were hoping to evoke (that week, the script was credited to show creators/executive producers Robert and Michelle King). Maybe not the "I'm quitting you" thing, but revulsion for sure. The entire purpose of the episode was to show our quasi-heroes in a negative light. These are not saints, not even Alicia. And I'm glad the show allows us to see that her moral quandaries don't stop with her husband but often extend to her work. Even good lawyers and good wives play dirty, and The Good Wife expects the viewer to be able to handle that. It's refreshing to see a mainstream network drama go a little dark once in a while. That's why they call it drama... read more

Cheers: Everyone's a Critic!

Entourage courtesy HBO

Cheers to Richard Roeper and Michael Phillips for keeping their senses of humor. Even as their run on the syndicated At the Movies has come to an end — they're being replaced by Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz — the tireless Chicago critics continue their work, hilariously panning Vincent Chase's faux epic Medellin on the season premiere of Entourage. (Roeper says Vinnie's fat suit and bad prosthetics "make him look like the love child of Jiminy Glick and a box of Twinkies," while Phillips adds, "Al Pacino called: He wants his Scarface accent back.") Roeper promsies he'll continue the legacy of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel with a new syndicated series, and I give that idea — you guessed it — two thumbs up.• Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board.• We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.com or in TV Guide magazine! read more

At the Movies Casts Its Two New Leads

Ben Lyons by Maury Phillips/ WireImage.com, Ben Mankiewicz by Jordan Strauss/ WireImage.com

On the heels of the news that Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper no longer will be hosting the syndicated At the Movies review series, Disney Domestic Television has announced who will. Ben Lyons, the son of film critic Jeffrey and a reporter for E! News, will join Turner Classic Movies' Ben Mankiewicz in the balcony come September.The Bens' thumbs will be turned neither up nor down, however, as Ebert and former cohost Gene Siskel's widow own the trademark. — Matt Mitovich read more

Ebert and Roeper Part Ways with Movie Review Show

Roger Ebert by John Sciulli/WireImage.com and Richard Roeper by Rosemary Goldhar/WireImage.com

This news definitely gets two thumbs down. Roger Ebert, the Chicago Sun-Time critic who has been telling TV viewers how they should spend their money at the box office for more than 30 years, has announced he is parting ways with his nationally syndicated show. Ebert, who has been unable to co-host At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper for the last two years because of health issues, told the AP that Disney-ABC Domestic Television had decided to take the show "in a new direction" that he would rather not be associated with. This announcement comes just a day after co-host Richard Roeper announced he would not be renewing his contract.Ebert made the show popular by bickering with Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel, whom Roeper replaced permanently in 2000, after Siskel died of a brain tumor in 1999. While Ebert has not announced his future plans, Roeper says he plans to "to proceed elsewhere... as the cohost of a movie review show that honors the standards established by Gene Siskel... read more

Boston Legal, J.Lo's $6 Mil Twins and More News Briefs

James Spader and William Shatner in Boston Legal by Scott Garfield/ABC

The ION Television network has inked a deal to air Boston Legal repeats on weeknights this fall.... WWE has narrowed the list of contenders to host its SmackDown series to MyNetworkTV and Tribune Broadcasting (as in Superstation WGN), says TV Week.... People and OK! are reportedly coughing up $6 million to share dibs on the first pics of Jennifer Lopez's forthcoming twins, says PageSix.com.... ReelzChannel has acquired second-run rights to At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper, starting next week. read more

Roger Ebert's Contract Talks Lead to Thumbs Wrestling

Roger Ebert courtesy Buena Vista

The Ebert & Roeper series is no longer all thumbs, up or down, as Roger Ebert — who has been MIA from the show for 14 months (due to cancer surgery) — and distributor Disney hit a stalemate in contract negotiations. Ebert, however, denies demanding the removal of the thumbs-up/down rating system. "[Disney] made a first offer... which I considered offensively low. I responded with a counter offer. They did not reply to this, and... ordered the thumbs removed," Ebert writes on his website. "This is not something I expected after an association of over 22 years. I had made it clear the thumbs could remain during good-faith negotiations."In a statement, Disney wishes Ebert a full recovery and says they hope to have him back on the show as soon as he is able.Anyone else here date back to Siskel and Ebert's Sneak Previews? read more

What's the Secret to Blockbuster Success?

What, if anything, do Star Wars, Mission: Impossible, and Jaws have in common?

What is the formula for blockbuster-movie success? And how does it differ from the recipe for disaster? Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters, an HBO documentary premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET — and based on the new book Boffo! How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb, by Variety editor-in-chief and former studio exec Peter Bart — explores those much-asked questions by way of A-list talking heads and fantastic clips from films both great and... so-so. Bart says that  — especially as cohost of AMC's Sunday Morn read more

What's the Secret to Blockbuster Success?

What, if anything, do Star Wars, Mission: Impossible, and Jaws have in common?

What is the formula for blockbuster-movie success? And how does it differ from the recipe for disaster? The new book Boffo! How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb, by Variety editor-in-chief and former studio exec Peter Bart, explores those much-asked questions, as does an accompanying HBO documentary, Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters, premiering June 29 and featuring almost as many A-list talking heads as fantastic clips from films both great and... so-so. Bart says that  — especially as cohost of AMC's Sunday read more

HERE COME THE JUDGES

Howard Stern will be joined by longtime sidekick Robin Quivers, film critic Richard Roeper (Ebert & Roeper), director Todd Phillips (Old School) and actor read more

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Premiered: September 01, 2001
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Critical analyses of current film releases, occasionally supplemented by commentary on older movies.

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