Roger Ebert courtesy Buena Vista 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?